A controversial build-up notwithstanding, the Delhi and District Cricket Association on Monday unveiled the statue of its former president Arun Jaitley at its premises.
Home minister Amit Shah unveiled the life-size statue, prepared by 96-year-old sculptor Ram Sutar, who also made the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.
BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, India opener Shikhar Dhawan, former player Gautam Gambhir, who is also a BJP MP from Delhi, BCCI vice- president Rajeev Shukla and Union minister Hardeep Puri attended the ceremony along with a number of DDCA officials.
Former India cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi had severely criticised the DDCA for choosing to install the statue of an administrator instead of an inspirational cricketer and even demanded that his name be removed from one the stands at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.
“Arun was like an elder brother to me. He was known for his sportsmanship spirit in political circle. He remained aggressive in his speeches but never lowered the dignity of the Parliament,” Shah said in his tribute to Jaitley, who remained DDCA President for 13 years.
Ganguly said Jaitley’s contribution was immense in the development of cricket in Delhi, though the DDCA has been in “turmoil” for some time.
“When we play and get 100, it gets recognition but lot of people work behind the scene and help the cricketers. He was a cricketer’s person. that is the role of an administrator,” he said.
Gambhir said the installation of Jaitley’s statue is a perfect tribute to him.