Cricket administration was among the many hats Arun Jaitley wore in public life and in his untimely demise, the cricketers remembered the man who seamlessly juggled roles and stood for them in testing times. A seasoned politician, an astute lawyer and a raconteur with innumerable friends across party lines, Jaitley passed away on Saturday after a prolonged period of illness. He was 66. While politicians cutting across party lines were quick to mourn the death of the former union minister, the cricketers also took to twitter to express their condolences.
Former India opener and BJP member of Parliament, Gautam Gambhir, who was close to Jaitley, said a part of him was gone with his demise.
A father teaches u to speak but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. RIP Sir.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) August 24, 2019
Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma, besides Gambhir, are some of the names that shone in international cricket with him at the top. He was a cricket fan first and someone that every big name in BCCI would consult before zeroing in on any policy decision with regards to Indian cricket.
Expressing their grief were Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra in a series of tweets.
Pained at the passing away of #ArunJaitley ji. Apart from having served greatly in public life , he played a huge role in many players from Delhi getting an opportunity to represent India. There was a time when not many players from Delhi got a chance at the highest level ..cont— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 24, 2019
The big-hitting former opener was not done there. He took to reveal that it was under Jaitley's leadership at the DDCA that many players got a chance to play for he national team.
But under his leadership at the DDCA, many players including me got a chance to represent India. He listened to needs of the players & was a problem solver. Personally shared a very beautiful relationship with him. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & loved ones. Om Shanti https://t.co/Kl4NpprR6W— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 24, 2019
Aakash Chopra was deeply saddened to hear Arun Jaitley's demise and hailed the scholar and cricket lover.
Deeply saddened to hear that Mr. Arun Jaitley is no more. A scholar...a cricket lover. Always helpful. Would remember the names of the kids doing well at U-19 level too. World will be poorer in your absence, sir. #riparunjaitley— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 24, 2019
The DDCA also expressed its condolence on its official Twitter page. "DDCA condoles the death of its former president Mr. Arun Jaitley. DDCA and its members mourn his untimely death and feel the loss of his experience and wisdom. We pray to the Almighty for his soul to Rest In Peace."
BCCI acting president CK Khanna termed it a personal loss. "Our association goes back to our college days in Shri Ram College Of Commerce where we worked together, he as the President, and me as the General Secretary of the College Union. I also had the privilege of inviting and closely working with him in the Cricket Administration in DDCA and BCCI. His contribution in the field of cricket shall be remembered forever," Khanna said.
Cricket Association of Bengal joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya, whose father late Jagmohan Dalmiya worked closely with Jaitley during former's stint as BCCI president also sent his condolences. "Shri Arun Jaitley ji was one of the few persons who has genuinely loved Indian cricket and someone who always came forward to protect the BCCI when chips were down," Dalmiya said. "Being an eminent lawyer, he would take the centerstage in such adverse situations and guide the Board on the way forward. In fact, he would certainly have been the obvious and unanimous choice for the BCCI Presidentship on a number of occasions had he given his consent to occupy the chair," Dalmiya junior said.
He is best known for having served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs in the first Narendra Modi government, has also held portfolios of Defence and Information and Broadcasting. It was Jaitley who rolled out the GST in 2017 which saw India becoming a unified market for goods and services for the first time, and was also the first chairman of the GST council, is widely credited for forging consensus leading to the Constitutional amendment that eventually passed the GST Bill. Jaitley opted out of the second Narendra Modi government, having gone to the US for two spells of treatment for a medical ailment in 2018-19. He has, however, regularly taken to Facebook and Twitter to pen blogs on various significant issues in the country.