Truth be told, Sachin’s 199th test match is not just another that India will be contesting against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens from the 6th of November and the Cricket Association of Bengal is not treating it that way either, however some of the events planned by Bengal’s cricket administrators are a bit over the top, to put it mildly. The sort of frenzy among the cricket fans is understandable and it is not at all over the top since it is the last time that they will be watching the finest batsman ever with a cricket bat for the last time. However, the sort of frenzy that has gripped the administrators at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has turned the Test match into more of a sideshow and this is what the CAB treasurer Mr. Biswarup Dey had to say regarding the preparations “There is no Diwali festival. This is Sachin festival……. This is officially ‘Salute Sachin.”. Which is all very good and it must be said that the CAB have made arrangements that can be best described as something akin to a royal welcome although their primary objective is to host a Test match.
So, let us look have a look at some of the events that have been planned by the CAB to commemorate this occasion: –
The BCCI has unveiled a special coin for the toss during these two Test matches and the most striking development has been a sketch of Sachin Tendulkar on the tickets that have just arrived by courier at my doorstep this afternoon. No such thing was visible even during the solitary ODI that India and Pakistan played at the Eden Gardens to commemorate the platinum jubilee of the BCCI (practically of Indian cricket) and hence it came as a bit of a surprise. Each and every day of the Test match would be spiced up with some event or the other. On one particular day, the organisers are going to distribute a Sachin mask to each and every spectator, which would surely create a new experience altogether-whether it would be a good or a bad one remains to be soon. However, the event planned for the third day is even more unique; before the start of the day’s play 199 balloons would be flown in the air and each of those balloons would have Sachin’ picture on them.
Although there would be the presence of plenty of dignitaries including the West Begal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee and film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan on the last day of the Test, the biggest draw for those present at the ground would be the moment when 199 kilograms of rose petals would be showered across the ground. At the time of writing, news is floating through that Sachin Tendulkar himself is unhappy at this sort of adulation since he believes it is unfair on the other members of the squad. Last but not the least, hope you would watch a bit of the cricket.