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Sports

May 13, 2020

International athletes rally behind Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq to support coronavirus relief efforts

Sports

Wed, May 13, 2020
The News/via Geo.tv/Files

KARACHI: Multiple international athletes stars — including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Sania Mirza — have rallied behind Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq to support his relief efforts for those who have been affected by the coronavirus lockdown in the country.

Aisam confirmed to The News that top tennis stars, as well as other Pakistani athletes, have donated their memorabilia for "Stars Against Hunger" — a cause he initiated in collaboration with Rizq Foundation.

"These memorabilia will be auctioned to raise funds to provide rations to needy people who are largely affected due to the lockdown in the country and continue to struggle to earn bread and butter for family," the Pakistani tennis ace said.

Switzerland's Roger Federer has donated a shirt that he wore in the Wimbledon 2016 semifinals against Milos Raonic to the 'Stars Against Hunger' cause to provide relief to people during coronavirus pandemic. The News/Handout

He said he was aiming to generate around Rs35 million by auctioning items donated by various sports stars and use that money to distribute 10,000 ration bags.

Aisam revealed that Switzerland's Federer has donated his shirt and shoes for the cause. Federer had worn the shirt in the Wimbledon 2016 semifinals against Milos Raonic where he graciously bowed out after a grueling contest, losing 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

The pair of shoes the tennis great donated were worn at the Cincinnati Masters 2011 where he entered as a defending champion and progressed to the quarterfinal.

Switzerland's Roger Federer has donated a pair of shoes he wore at the Cincinnati Masters 2011 where he entered as a defending champion to the 'Stars Against Hunger' cause to provide relief to people during coronavirus pandemic. The News/Handout

The Pakistani player added that the shirt donated by Spain's Nadal features the Rafael Nadal Academy's official logo and he wore it during the practice sessions at the French Open 2018.

Djokovic donated the shirt that he wore while playing the 2011 Australian Open final against Andy Murray. He defeated Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 to win the title.

Rafael Nadal has donated a shirt — featuring the Rafael Nadal Academy's official logo — that he wore it during the practice sessions at the French Open 2018 to the 'Stars Against Hunger' cause to provide relief to people during coronavirus pandemic. The News/Handout

India's Sania Mirza has also donated a signed racket that she had used in her comeback tour back in 2019. Grigor Dimitrov, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas have also donated their racket to the cause.

Aisam added that squash legend Jahangir Khan has donated his signed "Special Edition 555" squash racket, which is a commemorative icon of his legacy.

Novak Djokovic has donated a shirt he wore while playing the 2011 Australian Open final against Andy Murray to the 'Stars Against Hunger' cause to provide relief to people during coronavirus pandemic. The News/Handout

Boxer Amir Khan has donated his gloves, while former cricket captains Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik have donated their shirts for the cause. Fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar have also agreed to donate their signed cricket balls to be auctioned for the cause.