Bengaluru: Legendary Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor, who passed away on Thursday (April 29) in Mumbai, was a cricket fan. He enjoyed Team India’s successes during the ICC World Cup 2019 and also last year he had questioned captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.

Rishi breathed his last on Thursday morning at a Mumbai hospital after battling cancer for two years. He was 67.

Also read: Rishi Kapoor celebrated his last birthday with Sunil Gavaskar

In an official statement, the actor’s family said, “Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully at 8:45am IST in hospital today after a two-year battle with leukemia. The doctors and medical staff at the hospital said he kept them entertained to the last. He remained jovial and determined to live to the fullest right through two years of treatment across two continents. Family, friends, food and films remained his focus and everyone who met him during this time was amazed at how he did not let his illness get the better of him.”

Also read: Cricketers' tributes to Rishi Kapoor

The Bollywood actor was active on social media and often commented on cricket issues. During the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, he had praised the team led by Kohli.

Also, when the Indian squad was announced for the World Cup 2019, Rishi was not happy that the BCCI selectors had not included young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. However, later, during the tournament, when opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was injured, Pant was named his replacement. Pant played in four World Cup matches including the semi-final against New Zealand which India lost.

On May 9, 2019, Rishi had questioned Kohli and Shastri over Pant’s omission. He had written by tagging the duo, “Why is Rishabh Pant not in the squad for the World Cup? You there? @RaviShastriOfc @imVkohli  (sic).”

Not only Rishi, there were many who had questioned by BCCI selectors over Pant’s non-inclusion for the global 50-over tournament. Dinesh Karthik was preferred over Pant. The Indian World Cup squad was named on April 15, 2019. After the announcement, BCCI selection panel chairman MSK Prasad said they picked Karthik for his better wicketkeeping skills.

"In unison, we all felt either Pant or DK (Dinesh Karthik) will come into the XI if Mahi (Dhoni) is injured. If it’s a semi-final or an important game, wicketkeeping also matters. That’s the only reason we went ahead with Dinesh Karthik. Otherwise, Rishabh Pant was almost there," reasoned Prasad.

Also, on Twitter, Rishi had shared pictures of him meeting cricketers including Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mohammad Azharuddin, Kris Srikkanth and Dean Jones. Last year, Gavaskar visited Rishi in New York to celebrate the actor’s 67th birthday.

Today, Indian cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Kohli, Shastri, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman and others paid tributes to the veteran actor.