The Players Are Aware Of The Duty To The COVID-19 Terrain Jos Buttler > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Players aware of duty towards COVID-19 relief - Jos Buttler
Buttler celebrates after running out Martin Guptill to clinch the 2019 World Cup.
Jos Buttler isn't one for keeping much memorabilia. His only real keepsakes are a few shirts of players he has played against who were his heroes growing up. He's also got the bat he used in the World Cup final at Lord's last July. And for about one more day, he has the shirt he fielded in during that remarkable match against New Zealand. Come Wednesday, that will be gone, though, winging its way to a lucky auction winner.
Buttler is auctioning off the shirt to raise funds for the NHS as his way of making a contribution during the Coronavirus pandemic. With a little over a day to go, the bid stood at more than GBP 68,000. "It's an amazing amount of money," Buttler said. "The fashion in which the World Cup was won... everyone was very aware of that day and the drama that unfolded so it carries a story with it as well which I think has made it have the impact it has."
The shirt does carry quite a story. It was the shirt Buttler was wearing when he took the throw from Jason Roy and ran out Martin Guptill to secure England's first ever World Cup win. It was the one he is wearing in the iconic photograph, already immortalised in the history of English cricket, of him diving for the stumps, Guptill's bat agonisingly short of the crease. It was the shirt Buttler wore as he leapt around the outfield in celebration, flinging his keeping gloves off, screaming at the top of his lungs.
"The 50 overs of fielding and the Super Over, that's the shirt. It smells pretty authentic," he jokes now. "I probably took it off about seven o'clock the next morning. They were great times - those times in the dressing-room and we headed back to the hotel bar with everyone still in full kit. I don't think anyone was wearing spikes but everyone in their full kit. It's seen it all, that shirt."
The proceeds will be going to the Royal Brompton hospital where the aunt of Buttler's wife, Louise, is Head of Paediatrics. Buttler and some of his England teammates have already donated money for provisions such as food and toiletries to be provided for the NHS staff there. The money raised for the World Cup shirt will go towards buying an Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine for the hospital. It infuses oxygen into the blood of patients and removes carbon dioxide.
"The ECMO machine is vital not just for Covid-19 patients but all heart and lung patients," Buttler said. "The Royal Brompton is one of only five ECMO centres in the UK so that's going to be a big thing for them. It's a very special shirt but I think it takes on extra meaning with it being able to hopefully go to the emergency cause."
The auction is not the only way Buttler is making a contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic. He will be forgoing some of his salary as part of the voluntary GBP 500,000 donation made to the ECB and selected good causes by England's centrally contracted players, announced last Friday (April 3). It equates to a 20% salary cut for April, May and June.
"I think all the players are quite aware of the effect that the Covid has had on all businesses," Buttler said. "Everybody is very aware of our duty as players to contribute where we can. It's a very tight group of players with the same opinions. So it didn't take much decision making at all, to be honest. We knew we wanted to make a decision quickly and because everyone was on the same page it allowed that to happen."
The good causes are yet to be decided and the players are this week set to choose where they want the money to go. In terms of the money donated to the ECB, Buttler hopes the grass-roots game sees the benefit. "I hope the money can be used in all the areas where it is really needed," Buttler says. "There are so many different areas that are going to be affected - grass roots, youth coaching and disability sports.
"As players we're all very aware of the other affects this is going to have drip feeding down into the game and without grass roots cricket we're nothing really. That's the people we're trying to inspire. So I know the players are very strong on wanting that money to help that grass roots structure and pathway because we need to bring people into the game and make sure that is very strong."
Amidst the uncertainty caused by this crisis, Buttler has actually felt the benefit of being at home for an extended period of time following the cancellation of England's tour to Sri Lanka and the delaying of the IPL. "I would have been in the middle of about three months away from home, so it's actually very special for us to spend some time at home, spend some time really making the most of being here and being a husband and dad."
When cricket does resume, Buttler would be one of the players who might have to choose which format to play if the ECB arrange red and white-ball series at the same time. It is an option being considered in order to cram as much cricket as possible into a truncated season. Which would Buttler prefer? "I don't know, whichever one I got selected to play in," he joked.
"If we're in a shortened season, and the public have been starved of cricket, could you put two games on the same day in different areas if it was logistically possible? I feel you would get the crowds of people wanting to watch just because we haven't had any sport. That's a really interesting scenario for everyone. Nobody has the answers but lots of contingency plans are being made and that's one that probably has to be considered."
To place a bid for Jos Buttler's World Cup Final shirt, please visit his fundraising page here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jos-Buttler-World-Cup-Final-Shirt-/174236606868
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