The Indian cricket team on Saturday wore black armbands when they came out for the national anthem before the start of the World Test Championship final at the Rose Bowl, Southampton as a tribute to the ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh, the legendary Indian athlete who passed away on Friday night due to Covid-19 related complications.
Current Indian players in the Test squad including Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and head coach Ravi Shastri paid tributes to the Olympian on Twitter. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also posted a message on Twitter that read, “#TeamIndia is wearing black armbands in remembrance of Milkha Singhji, who passed away due to COVID-19”.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 19, 2021
India’s greatest @Olympics runner. Shook the world in 60s with his competitive spirit inspite of the most limited facilities. He took the word determination and will to compete to another level. Respect. God bless your soul. Condolences to @JeevMilkhaSingh & family 🙏🏻 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/oiJlkdK6fh
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) June 19, 2021
India says goodbye to an icon and an inspiration. Your legacy will keep guiding and inspiring generations of sportsperson. Rest in peace, sir. #MilkhaSinghJi
— Rishabh Pant (@RishabhPant17) June 19, 2021
The 91-year-old had tested positive for the virus on May 20 and was admitted to a private hospital in Mohali on May 24. Singh had been discharged on May 30 before he was admitted to the Covid ward at the Nehru Hospital Extension at PGIMER on June 3 due to dipping oxygen levels. On Thursday, he had tested negative on Thursday was shifted to the medical ICU.
Singh was the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold medal in the then British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958. He also won four Asian Games gold medals – 200m and 400m in 1958, and 400m and 4x400m relay in 1962. In 1960 Rome Olympics, he missed the bronze medal by a whisker.