Addressing the audience at the renaming ceremony of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Thursday evening, Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli spoke about his experience as a spectator. He mentioned that his coach had organized tickets for him to watch the India versus Zimbabwe test match at the Kotla stadium in 2001. Kohli revealed that he and his brother sat in the stand opposite the Pavillion. He remembered the fact that India’s former stellar opener Virender Sehwag and ace finisher Yuvraj Singh were on the ground.
Kohli recounted that former Indian pacer Javagal Srinath was standing near the boundary line. Recalling the presence of a barrier between the stand and the ground, he said that he had asked for Srinath’s autograph. He then expressed his surprise at how things change over a period of time. Kohli admitted that he never thought there would be a day when he would be honoured in the Kotla stadium.
While the stadium has been renamed to ‘Arun Jaitley Stadium’, one of the stands has been bestowed with the Indian skipper’s name. Jaitley had served both as the President of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), as well as Vice-President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Union Home Minister Amit Shah was the Chief Guest of the event. It was also attended by the entire Indian cricket team, other cricketers, and political leaders.
The Media and Protocol Division of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) issued a press release confirming the demise of Jaitley on August 24. The release stated that he passed away at 12:07 pm. He was initially admitted in AIIMS on August 8 and was under observation of a multi-disciplinary team of senior doctors.
Known as the perennial troubleshooter of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he started his journey from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He was jailed during the Emergency. Subsequently, he became the legal face of the party. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee tenure also witnessed his induction as a Minister.
Since the victory of the BJP in the 2014 General Elections, Jaitley was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s, go-to man. He was immediately handed over the reins of the Finance Ministry, along with the additional charge of the Defense Ministry. While he was eventually relieved of the latter, he continued to be the Finance Minister until the last few months. At that juncture, Piyush Goyal was allocated the Finance portfolio due to Jaitley’s ill health. He was not seen in public since the formation of the government in 2019 and opted out of the new Cabinet.