Cricket administration was among the many hats Arun Jaitley wore in public life and in his death, the cricketers remembered the man who seamlessly juggled roles and stood for them in testing times. A seasoned politician, an astute lawyer and a raconteur with innumerable friends across party lines, Jaitley died on Saturday after a prolonged period of illness. He was 66.
Former India opener and BJP member of Parliament, Gautam Gambhir, who was close to Jaitley, said a part of him was gone with his demise.
“A father teaches u to speak but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. RIP Sir,” Gambhir tweeted.
As he helmed the Delhi Districts and Cricket Association (DDCA), talented players from in and around the national capital emerged and flourished in the biggest stage.
“Pained at the passing away of ArunJaitley ji. Apart from having served greatly in public life, he played a huge role in many players from Delhi getting an opportunity to represent India. There was a time when not many players from Delhi got a chance at the highest level,” Sehwag said on Twitter.
“… But under his leadership at the DDCA, many players including me got a chance to represent India. He listened to needs of the players & was a problem solver. Personally shared a very beautiful relationship with him. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & loved ones. Om Shanti.
Chopra said, “Deeply saddened to hear that Mr. Arun Jaitley is no more. A scholar…a cricket lover. Always helpful. Would remember the names of the kids doing well at U-19 level too. World will be poorer in your absence, sir. riparunjaitley.”
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been a key member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet in the NDA government’s first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election owing to ill-health and was admitted to AIIMS for treatment in May this year.