The wait is finally over for former India opener Gautam Gambhir as he finally saw a stand named after him at the Arun Jaitley Stadium (former known as Feroz Shah Kotla) on Tuesday. Present during the felicitation ceremony, Gambhir shared the pictures from the unveiling ceremony on his official Twitter account. Also Read - Gautam Gambhir Puts Money on Fast Bowlers to Deliver Goods Ahead of India vs Bangladesh Day-Night Test at Eden Gardens
“Arun Jaitley Ji was like a father figure to me and it is a matter of great pride and pleasure to have a stand built in my name at the “Arun Jaitley Stadium”. I thank the apex council, my fans, friends, and family who supported me at every step,” Gambhir tweeted along with some pictures from the event. Also Read - ‘It's High Time we Stop Politicising This Issue,’ Says Gautam Gambhir on Air Pollution in Lok Sabha
However, the felicitation became more of a sideshow with the former India batsman lamenting the current mess in DDCA and even questioning president Rajat Sharma. Gambhir, who played all his domestic cricket for Delhi and was also captain for a long time, rued the state of affairs in DDCA. Also Read - Gautam Gambhir Calls MS Dhoni's Rotation Policy From 2012 "Complete Crap"
The left-handed batsman also questioned president Sharma for the delay in naming the North Stand after him. The senior journalist was appointed President in July last year when elections were held for the first time since 2013. He resigned earlier this month but the Ombudsman put his resignation on hold and asked him to continue.
“I think the president can answer this question better because earlier I was told that stand will be unveiled during the India versus Australia game (in March), then they said it will be the first game of the IPL, they said the hot weather (local tournament). This was what was told to me in the last six to seven months,” Gambhir was quoted by PTI. DDCA President Sharma was not present on the occasion.
Current India captain Virat Kohli also has a stand named after him at the Kotla, alongside greats such as Mohinder Amarnath and Bishan Singh Bedi. Virender Sehwag has a gate named after him and so has former India women’s team captain Anjum Chopra.
In a no-holds-barred interaction, Gambhir, who was a DDCA director until last month, slammed the authorities for infighting and not putting their energy into betterment of Delhi cricket. He also questioned the credentials of the senior selection panel comprising Atul Wassan, Vineet Jain and Anil Bhardwaj. He claimed that Jain never played for Delhi and should have never been appointed as a selector.
“One thing probably which is absolutely not acceptable is having a selector who has not played for Delhi. Delhi is like Mumbai and Karnataka, we are multiple time Ranji Trophy champions, so you don’t expect to have a selector who has never played for Delhi. In fact, you have got a junior selector also who has never played for Delhi.
“I had raised that point when I was DDCA director but it did not change anything and hurt me a lot. There are many ex-Delhi players who can contribute so much to the game,” said Gambhir who played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20 Internationals for India.
The 38-year-old claimed that none of his suggestions were taken seriously when he was part of the apex council.
“We had (court-appointed) administrators running the game for so long and then we had elections and again it is a divided house now. At the end of the day, young cricketers suffer most from all this.
“You can’t work with your ego, it can spoil careers of young and talented players. People in DDCA will come and go but the cricketers should not suffer. All elected members should work as a team.”