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Sports fraternity pays homage to former union minister Arun Jaitley

The sports fraternity came in unison to condole the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 66 following a long battle with illness. 

Sports fraternity pays homage to former union minister Arun Jaitley

The sports fraternity came in unison to condole the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 66 following a long battle with illness. 

From former Indian opener Virender Sehwag to Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat, all took to their social media handles to pay their tributes to the deceased leader.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, Sehwag said that under the leadership of Jaitley at the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), many players including him got a chance to represent India. 

"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. 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 former Indian opener wrote in a series of tweets. 

Expressing his grief at the death of Jaitley, Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan tweeted,"RIP #ArunJaitley Ji.. My sincere condolences to your family and loved ones."

Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman also conveyed his deep condolences to the family of the former finance minister. 

"Saddened to learn about the passing away of Shri #ArunJaitley ji. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti !" he wrote. 

Indian grappler Geeta Phogat also expressed her sadness on the untimely demise of former Union Minister Jaitley.

"The news of the untimely demise of former Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley is extremely sad. May his soul rest in peace. #ArunJaitley," Phogat tweeted.

Describing Jaitley as a "father figure", cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir wrote, "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."

Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra also paid tributes the late BJP leader, writing, "Deeply saddened to hear that Mr. Arun Jaitley is no more. A scholar...a cricket lover. Always helpful. Would remember the names of the kids doing well at U-19 level too. World will be poorer in your absence, sir. #riparunjaitley."

Jaitley, who held several important portfolios in his political career spanning over four decades, passed away at 12.07 p.m at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in the national capital.

He was admitted at AIIMS on August 9 after complaints of breathlessness and restlessness before he was put on the ventilator. Jaitley's condition showed some improvement, but he continued to remain under doctors' observation. On August 16, his health condition once again deteriorated and he was put on life support system.

During his long political career, Jaitley had donned many hats. He was a senior Supreme Court lawyer par excellence, a senior leader and key strategist of the BJP who held several important portfolios including finance, defence, commerce and industry, corporate affairs, and law and justice in the governments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Besides this, Jaitley was also involved in cricket administration. In 2009, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed him as its vice-president because of his love for the game of cricket. However, Jaitley stepped down from the position after the Indian Premier League (IPL) match-fixing scandal unfolded.

He, who was named the finance minister in the first term of Modi government in 2014, also resigned from the post of DDCA president after a service of 13 years in order to concentrate on his career in politics.

Born on December 28, 1952, in New Delhi, Jaitley is survived by his wife Sangeeta Jaitley, daughter Sonali Jaitley Bakhshi and son Rohan Jaitley.