Delhi: One of India’s highly-decorated Army commander and selfless servants of the nation – Chief Defence of Staff (CDS) – General Bipin Rawat lost his life in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday. In a tragic incident, Gen Rawat, his wife, and 11 others died after the MI-17V5 helicopter crashed in foggy conditions that led to the death of 13 people on board, claimed the IAF and other officials. The unfortunate news spread quickly, Indian sports personalities such as Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Wasim Jaffer, Rani Rampal, Sharath Kamal and many others paid tributes and expressed their condolences on

Several present and former cricketers, including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Singh, Suresh Raina and VVS Laxman, took to Twitter on Wednesday to condole the death of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash. Here’s how the cricket fraternity reacted on Gen. Rawat’s untimely demise:

“Deeply saddened by the untimely demise of CDS Bipin Rawat ji and other officials in a tragic helicopter crash. My deepest condolences to the friends & family members,” Virat Kohli tweeted.

“Extremely pained to hear about the passing away of Shri #BipinRawat , his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 army personnel in the tragic helicopter crash. Gratitude for his wonderful service to the nation,” Sehwag offered his condolences.

Gen. Rawat was appointed as India’s first-ever Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in January 2019. The post was newly created as part of the government’s efforts to restructure India’s armed forces to meet present-day challenges. This brought together the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and Gen Rawat had been in charge of a range of operations including in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Under his supervision, India conducted surgical strikes at a terror camp at Balakot in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir in retaliation for a major terror attack that left 40 paramilitary troops dead in Kashmir.

The lone survivor of the crash is Group Captain Varun Singh. He is under medical treatment at the Military Hospital in Wellington. Rawat had survived a chopper crash in February 2015 in India’s North-East.

“With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident,” the IAF said in a statement.

The dead include Rawat’s defence assistant Brigadier LS Lidder and his staff officer Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, officials said. Fourteen people, including the chopper’s crew, were on board the Russian-origin Mi-17V5 helicopter.