Former cricketer-turned-politician Chetan Chauhan passed away on Sunday due to COVID-19 related complications after being put on life support for nearly 36 hours.
Chauhan, who was a minister in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, was initially admitted at SGPGI in Lucknow, and later moved to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.
Chauhan, who played 40 Tests for India, was 73 and is survived by his wife and son Vinayak, who is scheduled to arrive from Melbourne later in the day.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his grief at the passing away of a cabinet colleague. Caouhan is the second minister from Uttar Pradesh to have succumbed to the virus, the first being technical education minister Kamla Rani Varun. Varun passed away on August 2 after suffering from the virus for a few days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Chauhan had distinguished himself as a wonderful cricketer and later as a diligent political leader.
Shri Chetan Chauhan Ji distinguished himself as a wonderful cricketer and later as a diligent political leader. He made effective contributions to public service and strengthening the BJP in UP. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2020
Condoling Chauhan's death, BJP leader and former Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain said he was saddened by the loss of a good cricketer, a good politician and a good friend, while regretting the BJP's loss of a fine leader.
एक अच्छा क्रिकेटर, एक अच्छा राजनेता और एक अच्छे मित्र चेतन चौहान की आकस्मिक मृत्यु से काफी दुख हुआ। भाजपा ने भी एक अच्छा और सुलझा हुआ नेता खो दिया हैं । उनको श्रंद्धाजंलि और परिवार को इस दुख की घड़ी में इस पीड़ा को सहने की ताकत मिले यही ख़ुदा से दुआ है।— Syed Shahnawaz Hussain (@ShahnawazBJP) August 16, 2020
Due to kidney related ailments, his health deteriorated and he was shifted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram. On Friday night, he had a multi-organ failure and was put on ventilator support.
Chauhan had served the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) in various capacities — president, vice-president, secretary and chief selector — apart from being manager of the Indian Team during their tour of Australia.
Several cricketing greats, including Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Anil Kumble paid their tribute to the late opener.
Chauhan was twice elected to the Lok Sabha from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, in 1991 and 1998 and was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1981. During his 12-year-long cricket career, Chauhan had played 40 Tests scoring 2,084 runs with 16 half-centuries and two wickets. With Sunil Gavaskar, Chauhan formed a potent opening partnership for India with the duo scoring over 3000 runs, including 12 century stands.
Minister in UP government Mohsin Raza told News18 that Chauhan was an icon and his death is an irreparable loss. “It is a sad day indeed, not just as a minister but also as a cricketer, he was an icon. And even after testing positive for COVID-19 he was working virtually towards eradicating the pandemic from the state. It is an irreparable loss and I just pray to God to give strength to his family.”
(With inputs from Qazi Faraz Ahmed)