Coronavirus: Jos Buttler says auctioned World Cup shirt will now have 'extra meaning'

Liam Blackburn

London, April 7: Jos Buttler says his Cricket World Cup final shirt will now carry "extra meaning" after he decided to auction it to raise funds for the fight against coronavirus.

The shirt the wicketkeeper-batsman was wearing when he ran out New Zealand's Martin Guptill to deliver England's first World Cup triumph last July will be going to a new home soon.

A bid of £65,800 was leading the way on Monday (April 6) - the penultimate day of the auction - with the money raised due to go towards an ECMO machine for the Royal Brompton Hospital, a specialist heart and lung medical centre in London.

The thrilling manner of England's Super Over victory against the Black Caps at Lord's means Buttler will always cherish the shirt, though he thinks auctioning it off for a special cause will make it resonate even more.

"[I've] spoken to the guys at the hospital and know what that money can buy them, which is an ECMO machine, which is vital, not just for COVID-19 patients, but other heart and lung patients," Buttler told reporters.

"The Royal Brompton is one of only five ECMO centres in the UK so that's going to be a big thing for them.

"Obviously there's a day or so left on the auction as well so hopefully it can raise a bit more and, of course, [it's] a very special shirt, but I think it will take on extra meaning with being able to hopefully go to the emergency cause."

Buttler explained he had a personal link with The Royal Brompton, where the aunty of his wife, Louise, works.

The 29-year-old had been inspired to auction his shirt upon learning about the medical facility's bid to raise £100,000.

"I just think it felt like a good thing to do, a great way to help," he added.

"Obviously the fashion in which the World Cup was won, everyone was very aware of that day and the drama that unfolded.

"It carries a story with it as well, which I think has made it have the impact it's had probably."

As one of England's centrally contracted players, Buttler has also been part of the £500,000 donation the team have made to the England and Wales Cricket Board and other charities.

Buttler explained it was his personal wish that the money is spent on grass-roots cricket.

"I know the players are strong on wanting that money to help that grass-roots structure and pathway," Buttler added.

"We need to bring people into the game and make sure that that is very strong."

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