Dubai: India's cricket fraternity as well as the political circles, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mourned the death of former India opener Chetan Chauhan, who passed away in New Delhi due to COVID-19 related complications .
Chauhan, who was 73, was serving as the Minister of Sainik Welfare, Home Guards, and Civil Security in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet. He is survived by his wife and son Vinayak.
"Shri Chetan Chauhan Ji distinguished himself as a wonderful cricketer and later as a diligent political leader. He made effective contributions to public service and strengthening the BJP in UP.
"Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti," PM Modi wrote on his twitter handle.
Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: "Saddened to hear about the demise of Chetan Bhai. He always had encouraging things to say to me & shared plenty of stories from his cricketing days with the Indian team. May his soul Rest in Peace."
Indian captain Virat Kohli was shocked by Chauhan's demise.
"Shocked to hear about the passing of Shri. Chetan Chauhan ji. May his soul rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers are with his family."
After his cricket career, Chauhan twice served as a Member of Parliament and also worked for the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) in various capacities.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath informed that his last rites will be performed on Monday.
"My colleague and former cricketer #ChetanChauhan ji has passed away. This is an irreparable loss for people of Uttar Pradesh and the world of cricket. His last rites will be performed tomorrow," the CM tweeted.
Sourav Ganguly, a former India captain and now President of BCCI, said in a message: “I am deeply anguished to learn of the passing away of Shri Chetan Chauhan. I have spent so much time with him when he was the Indian Cricket Team’s manager. Not only was he a tough opening batsman but was a person with a tremendous sense of humour and had a tremendous attachment to Indian cricket.
''This year needs to be forgotten as it has taken a lot of dear people away. He will always remain with us. May God give strength to his family to overcome this loss,” Ganguly said.
"Saddened to hear the passing of Chetan Chauhan. Fondly remember our conversations on the 2007-8 tour of Australia. Heartfelt condolences to his family," remarked Anil Kumble, India's leg spin great and former captain.
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, two Delhi cricketers, also paid their tributes to Chauhan.
"My deep condolences to Chetan Chauhan's family and well wishers on his passing. Om Shanti!" Sehwag wrote.
Gambhir tweeted: "Saddened to hear about the demise of Chetan Chauhan ji. His contribution to the game as well as to administration will always be remembered! May god give strength to his family & loved ones!"
He was admitted at the Sanjay Gandhi PGI Hospital in Lucknow after testing positive for coronavirus on July 12. His condition did not improve and after he developed other complications, Chauhan was shifted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.
A gritty opener, Chauhan played 40 Test matches seven ODIs for India from 1969 to 1981. He was Sunil Gavaskar’s opening partner and the two shared many vital stands, including 10 century partnerships. It was at The Oval in 1979 that the two put on a courageous display, stitching together an opening partnership of 213 runs, which came in the second innings.
Together they put 3010 runs in 59 innings, an Indian record then before Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir went past the mark.
Chauhan continued his domination in first-class cricket and amassed over 11000 runs from 179 games, representing Maharashtra and Delhi.
After his retirement, he served as President of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association and was also its vice-president, secretary and chief selector. He was appointed as manager of the Indian cricket team that toured Australia in 2007-08.