Virat Kohli had a new stand unveiled at the Arun Jaitley Stadium during a grand event at the JLN stadium. (Image credit: PTI)
Virat Kohli has achieved plenty of records in his cricketing career. His batting exploits have made him a modern day great and he is on course to break many records in the game. His ODI feats are simply marvellous and he is just nine centuries away from breaking Sachin Tendulkar's tally of tons and he is also within touching distance of 12000 ODI runs. In Tests, during the recent series against West Indies, Kohli emulated MS Dhoni's feat by registering a win in Tests for the 28th time to became the most successful skipper for India. Kohli had also created history by becoming the only player to average 50 in all three formats for a brief period of time.
However, the base for Kohli's success was laid at the Delhi and District Cricket Association and at the erstwhile Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium. On Thursday, during a glittering function held at the Weightlifting Hall of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the 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 cricket ground as Arun Jaitley stadium in memory of the late politician-cum-sports-administrator during DDCA's Annual Awards. Home Minister Amit Shah digitally inaugurated the renamed Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium in presence of late finance minister's family.
Speaking about the latest honour bestowed on Kohli, the Indian skipper turned nostalgic and said he had come a long way ever since he attended a Test match in Delhi in 2000 during the Test against Zimbabwe. "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. 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," Kohli said.
The renaming of the Feroz Shah Kotla after Arun Jaitley was made after the former Union Minister died in August. Jaitley was also a key member in the DDCA and he was very close to former cricketers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Kohli also spoke about his relationship with Jaitley and said he shared a special relationship with him.
"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.
Kohli's mental fortitude and dedication towards the game came to the fore when as a teenager, playing in the 2006 Ranji Trophy clash against Karnataka at the Kotla, Kohli's father died. The youngster returned to the ground and smashed 90 to ensure Delhi had avoided the follow-on and the match ended in a draw.