The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is leaving no stone unturned in order to outclass the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) as both bodies work overtime to prepare for Sachin Tendulkar’s last two Test matches.
5-day Sachin festival
Although Kolkata’s Eden Gardens will host Tendulkar’s 199th Test and Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium his 200th, CAB is eager to make this a grand affair for ‘a once in a lifetime cricketer’. Speaking to MiD DAY from Kolkata, CAB’s treasurer Biswarup Dey revealed what fans can expect for the first Test against the West Indies from November 6-10.
“It will be like a five-day Sachin festival at Eden Gardens. Each day of the Test match will be unique and memorable. We have planned five different things. On one day we will distribute Sachin Tendulkar masks to every spectator at the stadium.
“On another day we will give placards to every fan carrying messages for Tendulkar. One day we will have specially designed balloons. We will also give booklets to fans which will carry some of his rare photographs and write-ups. On the last day we will have a grand felicitation function for the God of cricket,” Dey said.
Big B, SRK expected
For the felicitation ceremony which will last for about 30 minutes after the final day’s play, CAB is in talks with Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan. The superstar, who will be in Kolkata for the film festival inauguration, is likely to join Shah Rukh Khan, brand ambassador of Bengal, Sourav Ganguly, former India skipper, and West Indies legend Brian Lara.
“Lara is more or less confirmed. It will be great to have these three iconic cricketers of one generation together on the same stage,” Dey informed. Apart from these ideas, CAB is also planning to have a sketch of Tendulkar on every ticket. “We want to make it a collector’s item. People would like to preserve it for life. These sketches would be done by one of the eminent artists from our state,” Dey said.
‘Don’t copy us, MCA’
“Since this is a month of festivals for Bengalis — we have the Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kaali Puja and then Diwali — the idea was to continue with festivities till the Test match,” Dey added. Dey, however, requested the MCA not to copy CAB in their preparation for Tendulkar’s 200th Test.
“There is one request from our side to the MCA, please don’t copy our ideas. We always find them doing the same things we do. We felicitated Tendulkar with 100 gold guineas for completing 100 international centuries. MCA also did the same thing. They should think of something new this time.”
CAB is also trying to make tickets affordable for fans. “The basic ticket would cost Rs 500 and the maximum would go to Rs 1500. We want ordinary fans of Tendulkar to experience this grand moment,” Dey concluded.
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