By Arré Bench Aug. 17, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic claimed a high-profile victim this weekend, as Uttar Pradesh BJP minister and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan succumbed to the disease. Chauhan is best remembered for his successful opening partnership with the legendary Sunil Gavaskar in the 1970s.
The coronavirus pandemic claimed a high-profile victim this weekend, as Uttar Pradesh BJP minister and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan succumbed to the disease. Chauhan was at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon when he breathed his last. Initially, Chauhan was admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi PGI Hospital in Lucknow, but due to his worsening condition and kidney-related ailments he was shifted to Gurgaon.
However, on Friday, Chauhan suffered multiple organ failure and was placed on a ventilator, before passing away on Sunday. Members of both India’s sporting and political establishments paid tribute to Chauhan in the wake of his death.
Arre baba you are the century-maker, not me: Sunil Gavaskar pays tribute to opening partner Chetan Chauhan
— Times Now Sports (@timesnowsports) August 17, 2020
As a cricketer, Chauhan is best remembered for his successful opening partnership with the legendary Sunil Gavaskar in the 1970s. Over the course of his career, which lasted 12 years, he represented India in 40 Test matches. He won the Arjuna Award, one of the most prestigious honours for Indian sportspersons, in 1981. After retirement, Chauhan was involved on the administrative side of the sport, serving terms as president, vice-president, secretary, and chief selector of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2020
In 1991, Chauhan won his first Lok Sabha election, from the seat of Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. Before being diagnosed with Covid-19, Chauhan was a cabinet minister of the BJP-led state government in Uttar Pradesh. His death makes him the second state-level minister to die due to health complications during this pandemic, after Kerala’s state minister Kamla Rani Varun also passed away earlier this month. Chauhan was 73 years old at the time of his death.
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. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/AlkVHj47XK
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 16, 2020
The coronavirus has been impacting lives in India since March, when the first lockdown was announced, if not even earlier than that. However, months later, incidents like Chetan Chauhan’s demise are a reminder that the threat is still present, and that taking this virus lightly – by holding public gatherings or neglecting social distancing – could prove to be a costly mistake.