India's sporting stars joined the country in mourning the demise of iconic actor Dilip Kumar here on Wednesday, describing him as an incomparable genius in their tributes.
Kumar, India's enduring film legend through the decades, died at a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday after prolonged illness, his family and doctors treating him said. He was 98.
"Rest in Peace Dilip Kumar ji! There will never be another like you," tweeted legendary former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
"Your contribution to Indian cinema is unparalleled and you’ll be missed dearly. My heartfelt condolences to Saira Banu ji & the family," he added.
Former opener Virender Sehwag recalled a famous dialogue from Kumar's classic blockbuster Mughal-e-Azam to highlight his impact on cinema.
"Heartfelt condolences to #DilipKumar’s family. The gr8 man said, Taqdeerein badal jaati hain,zamana badal jaata hai, mulkon ki taarikh badal jaati hai,shahenshah badal jaate hain,magar iss badalti hui duniya mein mohabbat jis insaan ka daaman thaam leti hai,woh insaan nahi badalta," he wrote.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also paid his condolences.
"We grew up watching his amazing films. The passing away of legendary actor Dilip Kumar Ji has deeply saddened all of us. He has left a huge void in Indian Cinema. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends & fans across the world," tweeted Rijiju.
Badminton star Saina Nehwal called Kumar a legend.
"The legend of Hindi cinema.. May your soul rest in peace sir," she tweeted.
Former India cricketers Madan Lal, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan too condoled the actor's demise.
"Great actor, every movies had a class. Rest In Peace. OM Shanti," tweeted Lal, a former speedster.
"There will be no other tragedy king than #DilipSahab. May your soul rest in peace #yusufkhan Sahab. May your legacy stay forever," said Pathan, a former India pacer.
"Born Mohammed Yusuf aka Dilip Kumar sahb. He was one of the last surviving stars of the Hindi film industry's 1940s–1960s 'Golden Age'. May you rest in eternal peace Dilip sahib (11 December 1922 – 7 July 2021). #RipDilipKumar #legend," wrote Harbhajan, a former off-spinner, on the micro-blogging site.
India batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who is leading the current limited overs side that is touring Sri Lanka, too paid his tributes to the veteran actor.
"Deeply saddened by the passing of Dilip Sahab. A genius actor who made such a huge impact in Indian cinema. An inspiration for generations to come. #DilipKumar," said Dhawan.
Condolences also came from across the border in Pakistan.
Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi tweeted, "A huge loss for Yousuf Khan sahib's fans...He lives on in our hearts. Deepest condolences to Saira Banu sahiba. #Dilip Kumar."
Olympic bronze-medallist boxer Vijender Singh, tweeted, "Yusuf Saab rest in peace. #DilipKumar." PTI NRB PM