[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) felicitated former opener Virender Sehwag before the start of the fourth and final cricket Test between India and South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Thursday.
During the pre-toss ceremony, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur presented Sehwag with a silver plaque commemorating his achievements.
The two ends of the Feroz Shah Kotla were temporarily named Viru 319 End and Viru 309 End in honour of the 37-year-old’s two Test triple tons.
The Indian team also displayed a banner reading ‘Thank You Viru’ on the top of their dressing room balcony.
Several of Sehwag’s family members were present on the occasion. He was accompanied by his mother Krishna Sehwag, wife Arti and his sons Aryavir and Vedant.
An emotional Sehwag thanked all the India captains he has played for. He also acknowledged his former colleagues, including the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.
He thanked his father and all his coaches, including childhood mentor A.N. Sharma.
“I would like to thank all my captains, friends and coaches who have helped me to reach where I am. I want to thank my first captain Ajay Jadeja and other captains Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble. A big thanks to Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar for moulding me in my career,” he said.
“I want to thank my father for allowing me to play the game of cricket and give me freedom to do whatever I wanted to. All my coaches, especially A.N. Sharma, for making me the cricketer I am,” he added.
“I would like to thank all my fans for standing by me in my good and bad times.”
He did not, however, mention Mahendra Singh Dhoni, under whom he played at the international level for six years.
Sehwag is the first Indian to score a triple ton in Test cricket. He is also one of four cricketers to have scored two triple centuries.
A member of the Indian team which won the 2011 World Cup, Sehwag has played 104 Tests and 251 One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He scored 8,586 runs in Tests and 8,273 in ODIs in a career which began in 1999.
Sehwag retired from international cricket on October 20.
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