Virat Kohli was going to be felicitated by the DDCA before the final ODI against Australia but that has now been cancelled. (Image credit: Twitter)
Before the start of the series-deciding Delhi ODI between India and Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla, the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association had plans to felicitate Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. Sehwag, Gambhir and Kohli had contributed immensely for the Indian cricket team and the DDCA decided to felicitate the three 'Delhi legends' ahead of the Australia ODI. However, the plan has been shelved in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF Jawans on February 14. Speaking to PTI, DDCA president Rajat Sharma explained the rationale behind canceling the felicitation event. "We had plans of felicitating Sehwag, Gambhir and Kohli but we decided against it since BCCI is also not having an opening ceremony of the IPL.We have also decided to donate Rs 10 lakh to Delhi Police's Martyrs Fund. As of now, 90 percent of the tickets that was put on public sale has been sold out," Sharma said.
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, BCCI decided to call off the IPL opening ceremony but also decided to donate the entire budget of the event for the welfare of the families of the martyrs. The terror attack resulted in plenty of anger and it was cricket which was targeted. State associations in Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh removed pictures of Pakistan cricket players while the Cricket Club of India covered a portrait of Imran Khan, the former Pakistan team skipper who is now the current Prime Minister of the country.
The Pulwama terror attack resulted in calls for the Indian cricket team to boycott the game against Manchester at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be played in Old Trafford, Manchester on June 16. Harbhajan Singh, Sourav Ganguly called for ending all sporting ties with Pakistan while Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly called for the game to be played. Committee of Administrators head Vinod Rai has called for the complete isolation of Pakistan while Rahul Johri, the CEO of BCCI, wrote a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) calling for nations to severe all ties with nations that support terrorism.
The five-match ODI series is evenly poised heading into the decider in Delhi. India won the Hyderabad ODI by six wickets and held their nerve to clinch the Nagpur ODI by eight runs. Australia withstood a brilliant onslaught from Virat Kohli who scored his 41st century as they won the Ranchi ODI by 32 runs. In the same game, before the start of the match, the Indian cricket team wore army-style caps tio pay tribute to the armed forces. In the Mohali ODI, Australia achieved the highest successful chase by a visiting team in an ODI in India as they chased down 359 to win the match by four wickets.