Low-key opening of 'Gautam Gambhir' stand at Arun Jaitley Stadium

Inaugurated in semi-darkness with just a flicker of lights, it was nowhere close to what should have been for a cricketer befitting Gambhir’s stature.

Gambhir at the unveiling of the stand honoured in his name at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.   -  Twitter @GautamGambhir

The DDCA finally came good on its promise to honour Gautam Gambhir with a stand of his own at the Arun Jaitley Stadium but the entire occasion on Tuesday appeared more of a hurried last-minute decision than a celebration of a two-time World Cup winner.

Inaugurated in semi-darkness with just a flicker of lights and the letters put up almost invisible, it was nowhere close to what should have been for a cricketer befitting Gambhir’s stature. Hardly any Delhi cricketer was present in complete contrast to the manner in which the previous stands at the venue were inaugurated. Having given his best throughout his playing career for the state – he admitted he was proud of being one of the very few who never moved away to play for another team – the least that was expected was a grand gesture on the part of the organisers and the DDCA.

Gambhir’s contribution to Delhi cricket remains unparalleled, having led the team almost single-handedly to its last Ranji Trophy triumph way back in 2007-08. He was also part of the Indian side that won the maiden T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 2011 ODI World Cup, playing crucial roles in both victories.

Instead, it appeared a compromise to finally fulfill the promise made by the DDCA to Gambhir after several delays over the last six months. Gambhir himself quipped that he had earlier been promised the unveiling during the India-Australia game, then the first match of the IPL and then during Hot Weather tournament. He also blasted DDCA president Rajat Sharma – who has since resigned although his resignation has not been accepted – for bringing in outsiders and ignoring his suggestions to improve Delhi cricket.