Shahid Afridi has contributed a hefty amount to the ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts in Bangladesh by purchasing Mushfiqur Rahim's bat for $20,000.
Mushfiqur had used the prized bat to score Bangladesh's first double century in Test cricket back in 2013 against Sri Lanka. The batting gear had been put up for auction by the veteran cricketer to raise funds for the people affected by lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I would like to thank everyone who was associated with this auction, particularly those honest bidders. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Khan Afridi has bought the bat on behalf of his Shahid Afridi Foundation," Mushfiqur wrote on social media.
"I am privileged and honored that a huge personality like Shahid Afridi has participated in our noble cause so special thanks to his foundation as well," the 32-year-old added.
Afridi himself has been engaged in charity efforts in his country, working alongside his namesake foundation to help the poor section of society.
"Assalamualaikum Mushfiq, what you're doing for your countrymen is truly amazing. Only real life heroes can do something like that. We are going through a tough time, and we need to support each other in order to recover from this situation," Afridi said in a video message for Mushfiqur.
"The amount of love and respect I have received from Bangladesh over the years will always be remembered. On behalf of the people of Pakistan and the Shahid Afridi Foundation, I would like to purchase your bat and be a part of your journey. My prayers are always with you and I hope Allah helps us recover from this pandemic. I hope to see you on the cricket field soon. Thank you."
The process of bidding for the bat was initially derailed by a rise in the number of fake bidders but eventually, this problem was resolved when Afridi extended monetary support for the cause.
The Dhaka-based newspaper New Age reported that the auction was jointly handled by Mushfiqur's management company NIBCO and the e-commerce site Pickaboo.com.
The proceeds from this successful auction will now be handed out as Tk 1,500 cash incentives for each family.