Just days after the passing of BJP leader and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, news came out that Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has renamed the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium to Arun Jaitley Stadium.
The renaming of Delhi's famous cricket venue as Arun Jaitley Stadium will take place on 12 September at a function where a stand will be named after current India captain Virat Kohli.
The decision to name the stadium after the politician was taken because of Jaitley's services to the Delhi cricket, where he was once the president of DDCA and also the vice-president of the BCCI.
Speaking on the name change, current DDCA president Rajat Sharma said: "It was Arun Jaitley's support and encouragement that players like Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra, Rishabh Pant and many others could make India proud."
After announcing the name change, DDCA also put out a clarification stating the stadium is only being renamed but the ground will be still called Feroz Shah Kotla.
Former BCCI chief Anurag Thakur had welcomed the decision and said, "Arun Jaitley ji loved cricket, his contribution to the game & building world class infrastructure gave Indian cricket some of its biggest names over the years. I strongly welcome the decision to rename the cricket stadium in his honour."
Gauam Gambhir, who represented India in 58 Tests and 147 ODIs and now a BJP MP from East Delhi, also proposed to rename Yamuna Sports Complex as Arun Jaitley Sports Complex.
The Kotla stadium, where one of India's best spinner Anil Kumble took a record 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan in 1999, takes its name after Feroz Shah Tughlaq, a ruler from the Tughlaq dynasty and he was also the Sultan of Delhi from 1351 to 1388. The stadium is near the Feroz Shah Kotla, a fortress or citadel built by Feroz Shah as part of Firozabad, the fifth city of Delhi.
According to a News18.com report, historian Rana Safvi says, "Firozabad was the first city of Delhi to be built on the banks of a river." The river she mentions is Yamuna and the citadel built by Feroz Shah was one typical example of a Mughal fort.
Apart from being a seasoned politician, Jaitley was also a keen follower of cricket. He had been involved in the DDCA affairs for a very long time, serving as president for 14 years and also played a role in modernising the stadium. Rajat Sharma, a journalist who is heading the DDCA now, wrote on his Twitter account, "#ArunJaitley during his tenure as DDCA chief from 1999 to 2013, got the stadium renovated into a modern infrastructure, increasing its capacity to accommodate more fans and building world class dressing rooms and other cricketing facilities."
The stadium is one of the oldest grounds in India, having been established in 1883, and has achieved quite a legacy in more than 100 years of its presence in the Indian capital.
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