Virat Kohli, the India and Royal Challengers Bangalore cricket captain, took time out from his preparations for the upcoming IPL in the UAE to lead the tributes to mark the nation’s 74th Independence Day celebrations on Saturday.
“Wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day! God bless our great nation and its countrymen especially the ones who are away from their families, fighting on the front lines to keep us safe. Jai Hind,” Kohli said in a tweet.
Kohli’s fellow India batsman Rohit Sharma wrote: “Wishing every Indian a happy #Independence Day. Nothing like stepping out for your country.”
“Going out and playing for my nation is a matter of pride! Happy #Independence Day, India,” said Delhi Capitals’ Shikhar Dhawan.
Ravichandran Ashwin added: “The Jallianwala bagh massacre made my heart cringe, the Swadeshi movement made my heart swell in pride. We marched on to liberate ourselves in 1947 and we will march on to get over this pandemic soon enough. Happy Independence to day to the billion Indians. #IndependenceDay2020.”
Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile, posted a video on Twitter where he reminisced the Independence Day celebrations in his school days and urged fellow countrymen to stay safe amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Many other cricketers joined in the celebrations.
“Happy Independence Day. Let’s celebrate the freedom & salute our freedom fighters who are still fighting to protect us. Can’t thank you enough for your patriotism & all the sacrifices you make. Prosperity, happiness and health to all!” wrote Suresh Raina.
“Pride. Passion. Euphoria. Nothing can even come close to the feeling of donning my country’s jersey. Happy #Independence Day!” said Mayank Agarwal.
“As we celebrate 74th #Independence Day, let’s pay our respect to freedom fighters & jawans for their countless sacrifices to build an independent #India. Our strength is in what India can do on its own, and not on what it can import/buy #VocalForLocal #MakeInIndia Jai Hind,” tweeted head coach Ravi Shastri.
“On this day, let’s pay tribute to all the freedom fighters who made our freedom possible. May the tricolor always keep flying high. Warm wishes to everyone on the occasion of Independence Day,” said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah.