Fight against COVID-19 is mother of all World Cups: Shastri

New Delhi: India’s head cricket coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday described the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as the “mother of all world cups”.

The coronavirus outbreak has so far claimed over 350 lives and infected more than 11,000 people in India, forcing the government to extend a 21-day lockdown to May 3 to contain the dreaded disease.

Shastri shared a video message on his twitter account, urging people to apply lessons from sports to fight the pandemic.

“Today, the COVID-19 corona have put us in a situation where we have our backs to the walls. To combat this COVID-19 corona is like chasing a world cup, where you give your everything and try to win it,” the 57-year-old said.

“What’s staring you in the face (COVID-19) is no ordinary World Cup, this is the mother of all World Cups, where not just 11 are playing but 1.4 billion are in the playing arena and competing.

“Come on guys, let’s do it together. Let’s get out there, a brute force of 1.4 billions and beat this corona and get our hands on the world cup of humanity,” he added.

Shastri praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he is leading from the front.

“Guys we can win this, but for that you’ve got to observe the basics. We’ve got a Prime Minister who is leading from the front, ahead of the curve,” Shastri said.

“You have got to obey the orders that come from the top, be it the centre, be it the state or be it from the people in the front-line who are risking their lives.

“Two orders that stand out; staying home and maintaining social distancing. It isn’t easy but to win the game, you’ve got to go through the pain, to break the chain.”

The disease has killed more than 1.2 lakh and infected nearly 2 million people globally. It has also brought sporting events around the world to a halt.

Last month, Shastri had urged people to stay home at all costs, saying the “only thing flying around the world like a tracer bullet is this bloody Corona”, using commentary cliche, made famous by him, to convey his message.