Arun Jaitley's statue unveiled at Feroz Shah Kotla premises

Rohan Jaitley, who recently took over as DDCA president, said the association will request Bishan Singh Bedi to withdraw his demand of removing his name from a stand at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

Union home minister Amit Shah unveiled a life-size statue of former DDCA president Arun Jaitley, with current president Rohan Jaitley, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and other members of the cricket fraternity present in the national capital.   -  PTI

A controversial build-up notwithstanding, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Monday unveiled the statue of its former president Arun Jaitley at its premises in the memory of the late administrator and former union minister.

Union home minister Amit Shah unveiled Jaitley's life-size statue, made by 96-year-old renowned sculptor Ram Sutar, the man behind the making of the iconic Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

Jaitley, who held key portfolios of finance and defence in the central government, died last year due to multiple health issues.

Former India cricketer Bishan 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 of the stands at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

READ: Bishan Singh Bedi reminds DDCA to remove his name from Kotla stand

Describing Bedi as the ''Bisham Pitamah'' of Delhi cricket, DDCA president Rohan Jaitley said the association will request the former India spinner to withdraw his demand of removing his name from a stand at the ground.

Rohan, who recently took over as the DDCA president, said he would have preferred Bedi to discuss the issue with him personally and not make below the belt' remarks against his father, who died last year due to multiple health issues.

"Bedi ji is the 'Bhisham Pitamah' of Delhi cricket. If there are reservations, there are better ways of discussing. I am a youngster and I expect to be guided by the elders in the fraternity. His name on the stands is his legacy, an honour bestowed upon him," Rohan said after the unveiling ceremony.

"These matters have to decided by the Apex Council. It's not in my domain. It's not in my power to remove anyone''s name. We have discussed it within the DDCA. We are going to request him to reconsider it. It's a long affiliation between the DDCA and Mr Bedi."

Asked if it really matters to DDCA if Bedi''s name stays on the stands of the Kotla ground, Rohan said "it does".

"It matters, I want his name to be there. I respect him as much as my father, if he wants to scold me, he can pull my ear but you can't hit below the belt when it is not required.

"Raising (casting) aspersion on someone who is not among us is not fair. If there are reservations, I would have addressed rather than hearing from the media. I am accessible, available to everyone on board." Rohan said and added that the decisions of renaming the stadium as Aun Jaitley Stadium and installation of his father's statue were taken before he became the DDCA president.

"There are ways to address the grievances. If you start attacking someone, who has just stepped into the office.... I am trying my best to get DDCA's glory back. I can't do it overnight, it will take some time," he said.

READ: Full text of Bishan Singh Bedi's email to DDCA president  

Sharing his vision for DDCA, Rohan said players will be at the centre of all development.

"World class infrastructure for players and members, a world class gym will be there in the next few months. We are upgrading cricketing infrastructure, the new lights are being planned. We are already communicating with the DDA on setting up of academies. Two grounds have been identified already.

"We are trying to bring in a more transparent system. Development plans will begin. The old clubhouse has issues, we are already communicating with IIT Delhi to rectify".

BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, India opener Shikhar Dhawan, ex India opener Gautam Gambhir, who is also a BJP MP from Delhi, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla and union minister Hardeep Puri also attended the unveiling ceremony along with a number of DDCA officials.

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 scenes and help the cricketers. He was a cricketer''s person. That is the role of an administrator," he said.

READ: DDCA set for sweeping reforms, courtesy Rohan Jaitley  

"I remember a phone call (he) made during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. We had lost the first game and the whole country went berserk but he (Jaitley) said that association supports you and you play well. These small things matter, he was a great human being," said Ganguly.

"This is a remarkably talented state which has produced so many players, Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant now and many in the past. A settled DDCA is good thing for Indian cricket and hopefully they can do it," he also said.

Gambhir said the installation of Jailtely's statue is a perfect tribute to him. "We won the Ranji trophy during his tenure and the stadium was also built. Honesty, (being) intellectual and absolute transparency are important for any administrator and he had that."

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