BJP stalwart and former Union minister Arun Jaitley passed away in Delhi on Saturday. The 66-year-old was associated with cricket and had served as a BCCI vice-president and DDCA president in the past.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag paid a heartfelt tribute to Jaitley, who according to the former, played a huge role in getting cricketers from Delhi an opportunity to play for India.
Sehwag tweeted, “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. 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."
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
Gambhir too paid his tributes to ‘father figure’ Jaitley.
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
In fact India skipper Virat Kohli who is in the Caribbean for the Test series, tweeted about Jaitley’s death.
Shocked & saddened to hear about the passing away of Shri Arun Jaitley ji. He was genuinely a good person, always willing to help others. He took out his precious time back in 2006 when my father passed away to come to my home & pay his condolences. May his soul rest in peace.— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 24, 2019
Other cricketers too expressed grief on passing away of Jaitley.
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
Deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Shri. Arun Jaitley. Fondly remember our conversations around cricket. His contributions in every field will remain unparalleled. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. 🙏🏽— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) August 24, 2019
Deeply saddened on the passing away of #ArunJaitley Ji My deepest condolences to his family. His contribution towards our country & cricket has been priceless. May his soul rest in eternal peace 🙏— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) August 24, 2019
I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family & loved ones of Shri Arun Jaitley ji. I can say from experience he was a man with the highest integrity quotient. As the nation mourns, my thoughts are with his family in this time of grief. RIP #ArunJaitley pic.twitter.com/Xb9Nk5i9AD— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) August 24, 2019
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 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.
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been a key member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet in the NDA government’s first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election owing to ill-health and was admitted to AIIMS for treatment in May this year.
He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS.