India skipper Virat Kohli turned nostalgic on Thursday after the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) unveiled a new pavilion stand bearing his name at the Feroz Shah Kotla in recognition of his contribution to the game.
The DDCA also renamed the Feroz Shah Kotla as Arun Jaitley stadium in memory of the late politician-cum-sports-administrator during DDCA’s Annual Awards function here.
Home Minister Amit Shah digitally inaugurated the renamed Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium in presence of late finance minister’s family.
“Never thought I would be honoured at such a grand scale. Don’t know how to address this as my family, wife, brother, sister-in-law are here,” said Kohli during the glittering function held at the Weightlifting Hall of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.
“It was in 2001 (2000) during a match against Zimbabwe, my childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma gave me two tickets. I remember clinging to the gallery grill asking for Javagal Srinath’s autograph. I was telling my brother how far we have come.
“So today to have a pavilion in my name at the same stadium is surreal and a great honour,” he added.
The Delhi batsman recently became the most successful India captain in Test cricket, surpassing Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
A short video and an animation film on Kohli’s journey from being an U-19 player to India captain was shown during the event, which was attended by the entire Indian cricket team and support staff.
Talking about his relation with late Arun Jaitley, Kohli said: “I told Arun Jaitley ji’s family that the world knew him differently but I have known him just as a human being.
“He came to my residence after my father’s death and gave me courage and strength. It’s a momentous occasion today,” added Kohli, who along with the Indian team was felicitated by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
The gala evening was also attended by former sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and former India skipper Kapil Dev, among others.