Kolkata: From Chandu Borde and Salim Durani -- the chief architects of India's first Test win at Eden -- to Sourav Ganguly, the stadium's rich history was hailed as Cricket Association of Bengal began 150 years' celebrations of the stadium with a book and documentary launch today.
While Ganguly singled out VVS Laxman's (281) and Rahul Dravid's 180 as the best-ever performance, former all-rounders Borde and Durani reminisced their win against the Englishmen in 1961-62 and said it was a dream for yesteryear's cricketers' to play at the Eden.
"During a Test, then English skipper Naseer Hussain once told me it's tough to play here; the batsmen don't get out and at the same time it's difficult to stop the roar. I told them you come here to participate," Ganguly said in his address.
Remembering his first match here versus Odisha, "It was a U-14 match and I scored a century, then onwards the Eden has always been special for me." Ganguly, who is also the CAB joint secretary, also stressed on the importance to keep producing cricketers.
"I understand it's a great ground and one of the best stadia. But our honour and glory would remain if we keep producing Test cricketers. We want a regular flow of players from the city so that the glory remains intact."
"Eden will always remain special for players of yesteryears for us, it was like a dream come true to play here," Borde who scored 68 and 61 and claimed 4/65 in India's
first Test victory at the Eden said.
Another former India all rounder Durani, who claimed eight wickets with his left-arm spin in the same Test, said his life had changed after playing at the venue. "I was included in a inter-school Mumbai team at the last minute and played here in 1949. Eden has continued to bless and promote me since then and I've not looked back."
Titled 'Eden Gardens -- Legends and Romance', the 204-page book authored by former Bengal captain, Raju Mukherjee chronicled Eden's journey from Calcutta Cricket Club
and how it got it's name from Emily and Fanny Eden, the sisters of Lord Auckland governor general of India from 1836-1842.
"I was going through a pavement in Dalhousie and came across this book of history of CCC by Arnab Ganguly and that was how the idea came to write a book on the Eden," Mukherjee said. There was also a 12-minute audio visual documentary released which was conceptualised by former Bengal captain Gopal Bose.
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