The Indian cricket team paid their tributes to former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Indian cricketer Ajit Wadekar by wearing black armbands during Day One of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge.
Earlier this week, former Indian cricketing great Ajit Wadekar passed away at the age of 77, which was followed by the demise of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It shook the nation, given how much the two had done in their respective fields.
In a show of respect, the Indian players wore armband to commemorate the two greats. The BCCI confirmed this through a message on their Twitter account, which read, "The Indian Cricket Team is wearing black armbands as a mark of respect to former India captain Shri Ajit Wadekar and former India Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away recently."
Wadekar was one of India's greatest batsmen and finest slip fielders, who played 37 Tests, scoring 2,113 runs at an average of 31.07. He represented the national team for over seven years.
Wadekar rekindled his association with the Indian cricket team, this time serving as its coach from 1992 to 1996. He was one of the earliest full-time coaches. He was awarded with the Arjuna Award in 1967 and with India's fourth highest civilian honour, Padma Shri, in 1972.
Vajpayee was a towering figure in Indian politics for a number of decades, since the time that Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister, first assumed the top office in 1996 and then again in 1998. Between the 1999 general elections and 2004, Vajpayee became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India to complete a full term.
His efforts, along with those of fellow-BJP stalwart LK Advani, led to the rise of the BJP, initially as the only national challenger to the then-dominant Congress, and more recently, to the biggest political party in the world in terms of membership.
A number of massive events took place in the country during Vajpayee's Prime Minister-ship, ranging from the Pokhran-2 nuclear tests to the Kargil war in terms of issues of national security and the increased liberalisation of the Indian economy and a massive infrastructure push on the development front. The economic growth India witnessed at the time led to the BJP adopting 'India Shining' as its campaign slogan in the ill-fated 2004 general elections.