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

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According to TOI, during an awareness campaign organized by Rotary Rajan Eye Bank and Rotary Club of Madras in Chennai, Kirmani went on to promise his eyes to Rajan Eye Care but withdrew from the statement later.

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

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 realized the importance of this cause. If more known faces like us come forward for this cause, it would be really helpful,” 68-year-old Kirmani stated.

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Moments later he withdrew his statement citing religious beliefs.

I am an emotional and sentimental person. I was so touched by Rajan’s initiative that I pledged to donate my eyes. However, I might not be able to honor my commitment due to some religious values. And not everyone in India honors their pledge. But it shouldn’t deter others from coming forward to donate their eyes,” 1983 World Cup winner further added.

However, Dr. Rajan said that it was his personal decision and admitted it was a noble gesture of Kirmani to attend the event.

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Kirmani mentioned it was the dedication and determination of the Indian national team that is set to play in the Blind Cricket World Cup inspired 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,” Kirmani concluded.

Meanwhile, several cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar, Adam Gilchrist, Kapil Dev and Ravichandran Ashwin have promised to donate their eyes.

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