To add to a growing list of records and achievements, Virat Kohli, the India captain, now has a stand in the Indian capital city named after him.
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Kohli, who was born in Delhi and spent his formative years playing cricket there, was on Thursday, 12 September, honoured with the naming of a pavilion stand after him at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
The stadium itself was renamed the Arun Jaitley Stadium, after the politician and former Delhi and District Cricket Association chief, who passed away recently.
An emotional Kohli thanked his family, team-mates and old coach for the support as he went down memory lane.
“In 2001 (2000) during a match against Zimbabwe, my childhood coach, Rajkumar Sharma, gave me two tickets for the Test. I remember clinging to the gallery grille asking for Javagal Srinath’s autograph,” he reminisced. “I was telling my brother how far we have come. Today, to have a pavilion in my name at the same stadium is surreal and a great honour.”
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Administrators and former players were all praise for Kohli during the glittering function. Kapil Dev, India’s first World Cup-winning captain, who was part of the event, compared Kohli to Tendulkar.
“Kohli has to go a long way. It is not right to talk about him in the middle of his career. But what he has given to us is unparalleled,” Dev said. “Never expected that somebody can come close to Sachin Tendulkar, whom we think is the ultimate, but Kohli has taken the game to a different level.”