MS Dhoni's kits, Leander Paes' racquets and accessories of other stars auctioned for cancer patients
Indian Tennis legend Leander Paes and Indian cricket team’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were among the top sports persons, who came forward to help the families of cancer patients. India’s World Cup winning captain’s limited overs wicket-keeping gloves and pads fetched Rs 1 lakh while Tennis star’s Wimbledon mixed doubles winning racquets generated Rs 1.5 lakh in the auction.
The auction was held to help Bapi Majhi, a die-hard fan of Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, who is currently fighting with liver cancer and the family of deceased Alip Chakraborty who was an East Bengal supporter. The charity fund-raising event was organised by a sports website xtratime.in in the absence of both the stars due to their commitments with the national teams.
Paes's racquets were bought by the right-handed batsman and Bengal Ranji team’s captain Manoj Tiwary. He entitled the tennis star, who is going to his seventh consecutive Olympics, as an "inspiration for all sports persons" and said, "At the age of 42, Leander is still winning Grand Slams. His dedication and hard work is an inspiration for all sportspersons. I love playing tennis during breaks and it would be nice to play with these racquets."
The other highlights of the auction for the noble cause were an autographed football by legendary Brazilian Pele which was bought by film producer Namit Bajoria for Rs 1.10 lakh. Pele’s jersey was also up for donation and was bought by Mohun Bagan assistant secretary Srinjoy Bose at Rs 1 lakh.
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly donated a couple of his jerseys while Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan contributed with his autographed bat. Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Sunrisers Hyderabad’s mentor VVS Laxman, Kolkata Knight Riders players Brad Hogg, Manish Pandey and Indian women’s team pacer Jhulan Goswami also donated their jerseys. India’s football team goalkeeper, Gurpreet Sandhu also gave his signed keeping gloves.
Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane donated his autographed One Day Internationals (ODIs) jersey which was bought by his IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants’ owner Sanjeev Goenka. The other auctioned items included Indian football player Jeje Lalpheklhua’s and captain Sunil Chhetri's jerseys and Indian cricket administrator late Jagmohan Dalmiya’s tie.
Kolkata witnessed such an auction for the first time where the stars form sports fraternity came forward to help the families of two cancer patients. A whopping amount of Rs 13, 66,000 was collected and it will be handed over to Bapi Majhi, who is undergoing a treatment for liver cancer, while a part of the raised amount will also be given to late Alip Chakraborty’s wife for the education of their children.