Half empty Eden greets Sachin

Kolkata, Nov 6 (IANS): Despite the unprecedented frenzy and hype surrounding it, Sachin Tendulkar’s final appearance at the Eden Gardens did not live up to its billing at least on the first day of the India-West indies Test here Wednesday, as half empty stands of the hallowed stadium greeted the maestro.

According to official estimates, the 65,000-plus capacity stadium witnessed an attendance of 33,000.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) earlier claimed that it would be a sellout crowd.

Moreover, the CAB’s plan to make the inaugural day memorable for the maestro also fell flat.

The CAB, which has chalked a host of events to mark Tendulkar’s swansong at the Eden, planned all the spectators would greet Sachin wearing his masks. But it was not to be as the masks were not distributed.

“There was a change in the plans as we have decided to distribute the masks tomorrow (Thursday),” explained CAB joint secretary Subir Ganguly.

However, the spectators did get a special booklet containing write-ups on Tendulkar by former cricket greats and a brief history of India-West Indies encounters at the Eden.

Just before the start of the match, both the teams and Tendulkar were felicitated by city police chief S.K. Purakayastha, who handed over a memento to the batting great.

There was further embarrassment for the organisers when a message welcoming Tendulkar family wrongly addressed Sachin’s wife Anjali as “Mr”.

The CAB Tuesday was left red-faced following a banner inside the ground having Tendulkar’s name wrongly spelt and the error was pointed out by none other than India skipper M.S. Dhoni.


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