Ex-India cricketer Syed Kirmani retracts statement after pledging to donate his eyes | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ex-India cricketer Syed Kirmani retracts statement after pledging to donate his eyes

Former India cricketer Syed Kirmani announced that he would donate his eyes only to later retract his statement.

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2018 12:20 IST
HT Correspondent
Syed Kirmani played 88 Tests and 49 ODIs for India.
Syed Kirmani played 88 Tests and 49 ODIs for India.(ICC/Twitter)

Former Indian wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani on Saturday surprised everyone present at a function when he pledged to donate his eyes, but retracted from his promise moments later.

During an awareness campaign organised in Chennai by Rotary Rajan Eye Bank and Rotary Club of Madras, Kirmani went on to pledge his eyes to Rajan Eye Care, but retracted later, reported The Times of India.

“Naan en kankalai dhaanam seikiren, neengalum kan thaanam seiyungal (I am donating my eyes, you too donate your eyes),” said the former Indian cricketer.

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“The thought of donating your eyes only comes when you have come of age. Rajan is doing a yeoman service by helping others see the light of the world and I realised the importance of this cause. If more known faces like us come forward for this cause, it would be really helpful.”

However, the 68-year-old claimed later on that he is an emotional person and cannot honour his pledge due to religious beliefs.

“I am an emotional and sentimental person. I was so touched with Rajan’s initiative that I pledged to donate my eyes. However, I might not be able to honour my commitment due to some religious values. And not everyone in India honours their pledge. But it shouldn’t deter others in coming forward to donate their eyes,” said the 1983 Cricket World Cup winner.

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On his part, Dr Rajan said it was a personal decision as far as Kirmani was concerned. “It was a noble gesture on Kirmani’s part to attend the function. But, I am not going to comment on what Kirmani wants to do later. I am okay if he doesn’t want to donate,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kirmani said as an ‘unofficial ambassador’ of the Indian national team set to play in the Blind Cricket World Cup, motivated him to join the eye donation cause.

“I was invited to give them a pep talk before they departed for Dubai. I saw their dedication and determination and was pleasantly surprised. That encouraged me to join the cause of donating eyes. I will also be flying to Dubai to inspire the team further,” said Kirmani.

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Several cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar, Adam Gilchrist, Kapil Dev and Ravichandran Ashwin have pledged to donate their eyes.