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Arun Jaitley's Statue Unveiled at Ferozeshah Kotla

Arun Jaitley's Statue Unveiled at Ferozeshah Kotla

The six-foot tall statue has cost around Rs 15 lakh and weighs around 800 kg. The veil that will cover the statue costs Rs 1.5 lakh.

  • IANS
  • Updated: December 28, 2020, 5:57 PM IST

The statue of late Arun Jaitley was unveiled at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds on Monday by Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister. This December 28 marked the 68th birth anniversary of Jaitley, who was the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for 14 years from 1999 to 2013.

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His son Rohan Jaitley is now heading the body. The six-foot tall statue has cost around Rs 15 lakh and weighs around 800 kg. The veil that will cover the statue costs Rs 1.5 lakh. Earlier former India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi had objected the move. He said: "I pride myself as a man of immense tolerance and patience...but all that I'm afraid, is running out. DDCA has truly tested me and forced me to take this drastic action. So, Mr President I request you to remove my name from the stand named after me with immediate effect. Also, I hereby renounce my DDCA membership," Bedi wrote in his letter."

Jaitley was DDCA president for 14 years, from 1999 to 2013, before quitting cricket administration. The body plans to have a six-foot statue of him installed at the Kotla to honour his memory. DDCA had named one of the stands after Bedi in November 2017 along with Mohinder Amarnath."I've taken this decision with sufficient deliberations. I'm not prone to disregard the honour that was bestowed upon me. But as we all know with honour comes responsibility. They feted me for the total respect and integrity with which I played the game.

Also read: Bishan Singh Bedi Warns DDCA Of Legal Action if Name Not Dropped From Stand

"And now I'm returning the honour just to assure them all that four decades after my retirement, I still retain those values. "

Putting his decision in context, Bedi wrote that he was never a fan of Arun Jaitley's working style and always opposed any decision that he did not agree with.

"My reservations about the choice of people he hand-picked to run the day to day affairs of DDCA is well known. I remember walking out from a meeting at his residence whence he was unable to throw out a rowdy element using terribly foul language.

"I think I was too head strong..too Old school..& too proud an Indian cricketer to be co-opted into the corrupt darbar of sycophants Arun Jaitley mustered at the Kotla during his stewardship."

Bedi said it pains him that even the current leadership follows the culture of "fawning obeisance".

"After the Feroze Shah Kotla was named hurriedly & most undeservingly after Late Arun Jaitley my reaction then was maybe somehow good sense might prevail to keep Kotla sacrosanct.

"How wrong I was. Now I gather a statue of Late Arun Jaitley is going to be installed at the Kotla. I'm not at all enamoured with the thought of a statue of Arun Jaitley coming up at Kotla."

Bedi said since the late administrator was primarily a politician, it's the Parliament which needs to "remember him for posterity."

"This is not a rhetorical assessment but a factual appraisal of his time at DDCA. Take my word, failures don't need to be celebrated with plaques & busts. They need to be forgotten."

Citing examples of how great cricketers were honoured in in other countries, Bedi said, "People who surround you presently will never inform you that it's WG Grace at Lord's..Sir Jack Hobbs at the Oval..Sir Donald Bradman at the SCG...Sir Garfield Sobers at Barbados & Shane Warne of recent vintage at the MCG...who adorn their cricket stadia with the Spirit of Cricket never out of place..

"...Sporting arenas need sporting role models. The place of the administrators is in their glass cabins.

"Since DDCA doesn't understand this Universal cricket culture, I need to walk out of it. I can't be part of a stadium which has got its priorities so grossly wrong & where administrators get precedence over the cricketers. Please bring down my name from the stand with immediate effect."



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