Former India all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla on Thursday announced he has donated his entire Indian Premier League commentary fee to the West Bengal’s Chief Minister Relief Fund to contribute in the fight against COVID-19.

Shukla had served as Kolkata’s Sports and Youth Affairs Minister between 2016 and 2021 before quitting politics early this year. He was a TMC MLA from the Howrah Uttar constituency.

“I am glad that I could donate my IPL 2021 commentary’s remuneration for the state’s welfare on my birthday,” Shukla said.

“Whatever I am today is because of the people and their support around me. Hence, on this auspicious day, if my humble contribution can make a difference to the huge calamity that we all are going through, I will consider myself lucky,” he added.

The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in India with the health-care infrastructure across the country struggling to cope with the case load amid shortage of oxygen supply and essential medicines.

In West Bengal, COVID-19 fatalities rose to 11,964 on Thursday while the caseload also mounted to 9,35,066 after the state registered a record one-day spike of 18,431 fresh infections.

“In this time of crisis, we must all try and do our bit so that we can fight the pandemic and make the world a happy place all over again.

“May we all win against this difficult time. I urge one and all to maintain hygiene and wear masks, avoid gatherings and stay safe,” Shukla said.

Several former and current cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan and Jaydev Undakat, Australians Pat Cummins and Brett Lee, and West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran have also contributed in the fight against COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the BCCI was forced to indefinitely postpone the IPL after multiple cases of COVID-19 among players and support staff members were detected.