Sachin Tendulkar to skip birthday celebrations as tribute to COVID-19 workers

Sachin Tendulkar turns 47 on Friday with the nation under the second phase of the national lockdown.

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 47 on Friday, the Indian cricket legend has decided to keep celebrations muted on his birthday.

This as a mark of respect to the frontline workers who have been leading the charge in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

"Sachin has decided that this is not the time for celebrations," a source told the Press Trust of India news agency. "He feels that this is the best tribute he can pay to all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, policemen, defence personnel, who are at the frontline."

The healthcare workers and police authorities have stepped up in this time of crisis to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus which has already affected more than 21,000 people in India.

Sachin Tendulkar, the League Ambassador of T20 Mumbai, has been with his family during the lockdown. During the time, he has led from the front with his philanthropic acts and social work.

He recently donated 50 lakhs to various funds to support the fight against the pandemic.

"I don't like to speak about these things. I want to continue doing my work," he reasoned in an interview with IANS. "One of my agendas is to see what we have been able to do in the past and help uplift the life of the underprivileged ones.

"We have planned a few things which will go on and the idea is to give back to the needy ones. It is not just about this time and during the coronavirus. We want to do this for as long as I am alive," he reasoned.

The Mumbai-based legend has been using his wide following on social media to raise awareness on social distancing and emerge as an advocate to help contain the outbreak.

"My message to my loved ones is that for so many years they have wished well for me and my way of wishing well for them would be to give them a message that they should stay at home and be safe," Sachin Tendulkar added in the IANS interview.

"Whenever I went out to bat, they wanted me to score runs and not get out. So here, I want them to stay safe and secure and stay healthy and not get out. Like they wanted me to stay in the crease, I want them to stay in the crease."

Cricketing action and all other sporting activities have come to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the world comes to a standstill.

The Mumbai Cricket Association has suspended all their matches until May 3, when the lockdown is due to be lifted, postponing them to a later date.

Their offices within the Wankhede Stadium is also to remain shut until then.

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