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India’s finest to grace maiden pink ball Test

The iconic Eden Gardens is all set to witness a musical extravaganza in the presence of former cricketers, celebrities and politicians during India and Bangladesh's first-ever pink ball Test.

By: PTI | Kolkata |
November 20, 2019 10:50:35 pm
sachin tendulkar Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar will be present during the day-night Test. (PTI Photo)

India’s finest cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev will assemble during the country’s first-ever day-night Test against Bangladesh, starting on Friday.

The iconic Eden Gardens is all set to witness a musical extravaganza in the presence of former cricketers, celebrities and politicians during India and Bangladesh’s first-ever pink ball Test.

According to BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, the second Test of the two-match series will be one to remember.

“Sachin (Tendulkar), (Sunil) Gavaskar, Kapil (Dev), Rahul (Dravid), Anil (Kumble) everyone will be there. In tea time, there will be carts going around the stadium with former captains in them,” Ganguly said on Wednesday.

“There is a musical performance at tea time and at the end of the day there is a felicitation. Both the teams, former captains, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Chief Minister will be there.

“Runa Laila will be performing, Jeet Ganguly will be performing. I am very excited. Just see the excitement, four days are already sold out in a Test match,” he added.

Asked whether after the Eden Test, India will play a day-night Test in its upcoming tour to Australia in January next year, Ganguly replied: “We will see.”

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and BCCI have put in place several plans to mark India’s maiden pink ball Test.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to ring the ‘Eden Bell’ along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the first day of the match.

Besides, a host of sporting starts, including star shuttler P V Sindhu, chess ace Viswanathan Anand and tennis sensation Sania Mirza are expected to grace the occasion.

As per plans, paratroopers are expected to fly into Eden to hand a pink ball each to captains Virat Kohli and Mominul Haque just before the toss.

The CAB has also organised a talk show featuring the ‘Fabulous Five’ of Indian cricket — Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and V V S Laxman during the 40-minute dinner break. They will talk about the historic 2001 Test win against Australia at the Eden.

The CAB also plans to felicitate sporting stars, including Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, Sania Mirza, Sindhu and six-time boxing world champion MC Mary Kom among others.

R Ashwin hopes Day/Night marks new beginning for Test cricket

Senior Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin feels Day/Night Tests will mark a new beginning for the traditional format in the country as the spectator count will improve drastically owing to the match timings.

India will play their maiden Day/Night Test starting Friday, against Bangladesh in Kolkata. The daily proceedings in the match will start at 1pm and wind up by 8pm.

“I just hope this marks the beginning of where we get huge crowds coming into the stadium and test cricket gets its credit and obviously with the change in timings people can afford to finish their work and come into the game, watch it and enjoy it,” Ashwin said on ‘Star Sports’.

His teammate Mohammed Shami is focussed on the challenges that await him in the game.

“The middle session should be the main focus for batsman while using the pink ball unlike the morning session that is usually considered the most important in a test match as it will have more of a swing in Eden Gardens,” he said.

Shami said the bowlers will have to work very hard to extract any assistance from the pink ball.

“…the pink ball is only useful when there a hard and grassy wicket because the ball goes straight.

“Pink ball is a very different ball and doesn’t work like the white or red ball at all so there is a very low possibility that in the last session we get a swing or reverse so we will have to work very hard,” he said.

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