Cricket: Amit Shah unveils Jaitley's statue at Feroz Shah Kotla ground
Union Home Minister Amit Shah unveiling the statue of late Union Minister Arun Jaitley at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, in New Delhi on December 28, 2020.IANS

Cricket: Amit Shah unveils Jaitley's statue at Feroz Shah Kotla ground

Rohan Jaitley urges Bishan Bedi to reconsider his demand for withdrawal of his name from one of the stands at the stadium

New Delhi, December 28, 2020

Union Home Minister Amit Shah unveiled the statue of former DDCA president and Union Minister Arun Jaitley at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground here on Monday.

The ceremony to install Jaitley's life-size statue, made by 96-year-old renowned sculptor Ram Sutar, was attended by, among others, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, opener Shikhar Dhawan, ex-opener Gautam Gambhir and BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla

Arun Jaitley had served as the DDCA chief for 14 years, from 1999 to 2013. The former Union Finance Minister passed away on August 24, 2019 due to multiple organ failure.

Paying tribute to his late colleague, Shah said, "Arun was like an elder brother to me. He was known for his sportsmanship spirit in political circles. He remained aggressive in his speeches but never lowered the dignity of the Parliament."

Speaking on the occasion, Ganguly called Jaitley’s contribution as immense in the development of cricket in Delhi.

“I remember a phone call (he) made during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. We had lost the first game and the whole country went berserk but he (Jaitley) said that association supports you and you play well. These small things matter, he was a great human being,” the BCCI chief said.

"This is a remarkably talented state which has produced so many players, Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant now and many in the past. A settled DDCA is good thing for Indian cricket and hopefully they can do it,” he said.

"When we play and get 100, it gets recognition but a lot of people work behind the scene and help the cricketers. Jaitely was a cricketer’s person. that is the role of an administrator,” he added

Gambhir said that the installation of Jailtley’s statue is a perfect tribute to him. "We won the Ranji Trophy during his tenure and the stadium was also built. Honesty, (being) intellectual and absolute transparency are important for any administrator and he had that,” the BJP Lok Sabha member from East Delhi said.

Meanwhile DDCA president Rohan Jaitley urged the former India cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi not to insist on the removal of his name from the stand at the ground.

Bedi had criticised the DDCA for its decision to install the statue of Jaitley and had demanded that his name be removed from the stand named after him.

Describing Bedi as the ''Bisham Pitamah'' of Delhi cricket, Rohan Jaitley said the association will request the former India spinner to withdraw his demand.

"Bedi ji is the 'Bhisham Pitamah' of Delhi cricket. If there are reservations, there are better ways of discussing. I am a youngster and I expect to be guided by the elders in the fraternity. His name on the stands is his legacy, an honour bestowed upon him," Rohan said after the unveiling ceremony.

"These matters have to be decided by the Apex Council. It's not in my domain. It's not in my power to remove anyone's name."

Rohan was emphatic in saying that "I want his name to be there. I respect him as much as my father, if he wants to scold me, he can pull my ear but you can't hit below the belt when it is not required.

"Raising aspersion on someone who is not among us is not fair. If there are reservations, I would have addressed rather than hearing from the media. I am accessible, available to everyone on board," Rohan said and added that the decisions of renaming the stadium as Arun Jaitley Stadium and installation of his father's statue were taken before he became the president of the association.

"There are ways to address the grievances. If you start attacking someone, who has just stepped into the office.... I am trying my best to get DDCA's glory back. I can't do it overnight, it will take some time," he said adding, "I request him to reconsider it. It's a long affiliation between the DDCA and Mr Bedi."

He asserted that, at the DDCA, players will be at the centre of all development. "World class infrastructure for players and members, a world class gym will be there in the next few months. We are upgrading cricketing infrastructure, the new lights are being planned. We are already communicating with the DDA on setting up of academies. Two grounds have been identified already.

"We are trying to bring in a more transparent system. Development plans will begin. The old clubhouse has issues, we are already communicating with IIT Delhi to rectify," he added.


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