The ‘Raise the Bat’ Test match between England and West Indies saw the much-awaited return of international cricket after a four-month-long COVID-19 hiatus.
Also, it was an auspicious occasion for the healthcare professionals, who bear the forefront in the war against COVID-19.
England captain Ben Stokes along with teammates were seen donning the names of doctors which included four Indian-origin professionals. Stokes’ training kit had the name of Dr Vikas Kumar imprinted on it.
“It was overwhelming to see Stokes and others putting that message out. It’s been very difficult for all of us. NHS staff have made a lot of sacrifices. This recognition is for the entire medical fraternity, including my doctor friends in India,” Kumar told Indian Express.
“I was a cricket fan, and played for my medical college, but all my family members were into studies. So I had to become a doctor like my brothers,” he added.
In a heartwarming gesture, Stokes sent a video message to Vikas and other COVID-19 warriors. “Hi Vikas, a big thanks for everything you have done throughout this pandemic. I want to wish you a happy return to cricket, all the best mate, get as many runs and wickets as you can,” he said.
“Dr Vikas Kumar is one of the key worker heroes whose name featured on the England Men’s training shirts today for day 1 of the #raisethebat Test Series. Watch Vikas view a message from fellow Durham-local Ben Stokes who wore his name with pride today,” captioned ECB’s tweet.
Dr Vikas Kumar is one of the key worker heroes whose name featured on the England Men's training shirts today for day 1 of the #raisethebat Test Series
Watch Vikas view a message from fellow Durham-local Ben Stokes who wore his name with pride today🙌 https://t.co/rQw1yVvynF
— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) July 8, 2020
Other Indian origin doctors included were Dr. Jamasp Kaikhusroo Dastur from Norwich, and Harikrishna Shah and physiotherapist Krishan Aghada from Leicester. They all got featured on the back of the shirts of English cricketers.