India skipper Virat Kohli and former South Africa batsman AB de Villiers will auction their cricketing gear, including the bats with which they scored hundreds for Royal Challengers Bangalore during an IPL match in 2016, to raise funds for the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
The items to be auctioned also include their respective gloves and shirts from that particular game where both of them had scored centuries to power RCB to a challenging 248 for three against Gujarat Lions.
RCB had won the match by 144 runs.
“We had a few nice knocks together. There is a particular one in 2016 IPL against Gujarat Lions. I got 129 and you also got 100 right at the end, that doesn’t happen always when two batters get 100s. It is a special memory for me,” De Villiers said during an Instagram live chat.
“I was thinking how we can make a difference, that’s why I told you to get hold of that bat from that game and I still got that shirt from that game, which I got you signed, I also signed my shirt. So I got my shirt and my bat, I gonna get hold of your bat, my bat, your gloves, my gloves. That’s quite a big package.
“The plan is to get it on an online auction platform (bidorbuy.co.za). It could be a nice collectors item. We both can share a picture of that game. People can go and bid and all the proceeds can go for the COVID-19 cause both in India and South Africa, particularly, for the cause of getting meals on people’s table. we can make it 50-50 and support the cause in memory of that day.”
RCB skipper Kohli, who had scored 109 in that match, said he would give away anything for the cause.
“It sounds amazing. The fact that you want to share a part of it with India where you have a massive fan, I think it is quite special, it is an amazing gesture from you,” he said.
“I don’t think I will be able to score that many runs in a single season. I have kept most of the things from that season. For this cause I will give anything away.”
The Indian captain said it is “surreal” what has been happening around the globe and felt people will be more human once the pandemic-induced crisis is over. “I never thought I will see this happening in my life time. So many people are trapped, specially migrant and daily wagers are struggling. There is a silver lining, I mean it is good to see the human side coming up, there is no ego, there is no manipulation, so many people are helping out in this crisis situation,” he said.
“We have to grateful that we are comfortable sitting, where so many others are struggling for food. Nothing hurts you more than seeing people struggling to get food on table.
“Whenever people come back, when players comeback, there will be lot more energy… it will drastically change the enjoying part of things, pure love for everything will come up in the surface.”
The coronavirus outbreak has infected over 2.5 million people around the globe, bringing all sporting activities to a standstill.