The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), on Thursday, rechristened Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium as Arun Jaitley Stadium. The association also named a pavilion stand at the stadium after India skipper Virat Kohli in a star-studded ceremony. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was the chief guest for the function.
Virat Kohli became third player to have a stand named after him at the iconic stadium. Former India cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Mohinder Amarnath are the two other Delhi players who have stands after their names. However, the honour came their way after their retirement.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli became the youngest active cricketer to be bestowed with the rare honour of a Stand being named after him at the stadium. The decision was taken on the eleventh anniversary of Kohli’s debut in international cricket.
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“When I decided to name a stand in honour of Virat Kohli, I told this first to Arun Jaitleyji. He told me this is a good decision because there is no better player than Virat in world cricket,” said Rajat Sharma while naming the stand after Kohli.
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Jaitley, during his tenure at DDCA, is credited with renovating the stadium into a modern facility, increasing its capacity to accommodate more fans besides constructing world class dressing rooms. DDCA had announced the decision of naming the stadium after Jaitley when he passed away at the age of 66 last month.
Virat Kohli, meanwhile, is widely regarded as the best batsman of this generation. He is currently the top-ranked ODI and number two in Tests. Kohli has scored a staggering 20638 runs in all formats of international cricket, with 20, 154 of those runs coming from 2010 onwards. He is the first player to score 20000 runs in international cricket in a single decade.
Kohli has scored a combined 68 international centuries with 25 of those coming in Tests and 43 of those coming in ODI cricket. In addition, he has also scored 93 half-centuries (22 in Tests, 54 in ODIs and 21 in T20Is).
“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 players. So today to have a pavilion in my name at the same stadium is surreal and a great honour,” said Virat Kohli at the function.
India, meanwhile, will soon take on South Africa in T20Is and Tests. The T20I series will start on September 15.