The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Thursday renamed Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium as Arun Jaitley Stadium in a ceremony held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The name of the stadium has been renamed after former Union Minister and President of DDCA Arun Jaitley, who passed away last month at the age of 66. At the same event, the famous Delhi cricket venue has been named after Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli.
Why is it rechristened?
The renaming had been carried out to pay respect and honour the leader of DDCA who served as a president from 1999 to 2003. A new pavilion stand at the stadium has been dedicated to India skipper Virat Kohli in regards to his impeccable performance and outstanding achievements.
During Jaitley’s presence, his tenure at DDCA is credited with renovating the stadium into modern facilitations which increased the capacity to incorporate more fans besides constructing world-class dressing rooms for players.
While Virat Kohli is the youngest active cricketer to be felicitated with such respect of a pavilion stand named after him, Bishan Singh Bedi and Mohinder Nath are the other two Delhi players who have been bestowed with a similar honour of stands after their names after retirement.
Who all were honoured?
The glittering ceremony was held at the Weightlifting Hall of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and a dance performance kicked off the start of the event before DDCA President Rajat Sharma welcomed everyone showering valour on the deserving ones. The occasion saw the Indian Team witnessing their captain duly honoured and reverenced for his impeccable contribution on the field while other the DDCA Annual Honours 2019 honoured promising cricketers with mementoes for their performances.
Dhruv Shorey, Navdeep Saini, Jonty Sidhu and Tejas Baroka were the top awardees of the DDCA Annual Honours this year.
Rajat Sharma delivered few words on how Former Miniter Arun Jaitley framed Delhi Cricket in what it is today.
Rajat Sharma announced that DDCA has come to a conclusion of starting two academies at Commonwealth Games Village and Pitampura for the poor kids where they would be trained for free. He further revealed that former Delhi stars would be pitching in the effort without charging fees from the deprived children.
The rechristening of the stadium was carried out by Shah, Rajat Sharma, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Virat Kohli while an audio-visual clip played in the background. Shah presented Jaitley family with an honourable memento to regard the occasion. This was followed by the unveiling of the new pavilion on the stage by Virat Kohli and others.
Virat Kohli’s greetings
Referring to the occasion Kohli expressed how special the occasion meant to him and how felicitous it was to rename the stadium on the same evening. He thanked his family and childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma for his hard work and contributions.
"When I left home today, I told my family one anecdote. I remember getting a ticket to watch a game in 2001 at the stadium and asking for autographs from the players. So to have a pavilion in my name at the same stadium today is surreal and a great honour," Kohli revealed.
Former Indian Skipper Kapil Dev honoured Virat Kohli and said, “Wonderful to have a stand in the name of Virat. And whatever DDCA does for Arun Jaitley is not enough given his contribution."
Former Indian player gave huge reverence to Virat Kohli saying it was a truly deserved gift for him. "Virat is a special player and he deserves this kind of recognition. To be actively playing and getting a stand in his name is a great feeling," he said.
Former DDCA Vice President and India opener spoke about his seamless and long association with Jaitley and said, “Arun Jaitleyji was DDCA President for 14 years and I was the Vice President. He was our friend, guide. Whenever we needed direction, he would help us. The biggest help he did was to rebuild the Kotla stadium. So it's befitting to name it in his honour."