Cricket administration was among the many hats Arun Jaitley wore in public life and in his death, the players remembered the man who seamlessly juggled roles, and stood by them in their hour of need.
A seasoned politician, an astute lawyer and a raconteur with innumerable friends across party lines, Jaitley passed away on Saturday, 24 August, after a prolonged period of illness. He was 66.
Indian captain Kohli recalled the day when Jaitley visited his residence following the death of his father.
“Shocked & saddened to hear about the passing away of Shri Arun Jaitley ji. He was genuinely a good person, always willing to help others. He took out his precious time back in 2006 when my father passed away to come to my home & pay his condolences. May his soul rest in peace,” wrote Kohli in a tweet.
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.
Virender Sehwag, Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma, besides Gambhir, are some of the names that shone in international cricket with him at the top.
He was a cricket fan first and then someone that every big name in BCCI would consult before zeroing in on any policy decision with regards to Indian cricket.
Expressing their grief were Virender Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Mithali Raj and R Ashwin, among others, in a series of tweets.
"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."
The BCCI said in a release: "A remarkable statesman, Mr Jaitley was a passionate cricket follower and will always be remembered as one of the most able and respected cricket administrators."
The DDCA expressed its condolence on its official twitter page.
"DDCA condoles the death of its former president Mr Arun Jaitley. DDCA and its members mourn his untimely death and feel the loss of his experience and wisdom. We pray to the Almighty for his soul to Rest In Peace."
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.
He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS.