The Master wants to go on his own terms.
He is the one who decides the timing and the venue for his farewell Test.
While fulfiling the wishes of Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has cared little about the Futures Tours and Programme and its own rotation policy.
The BCCI’s Programmes and Fixtures committee, headed by Rajeev Shukla, gave a go ahead to Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium as the venue for Tendulkar’s 200th and final Test appearance (Nov 14- 18). The first Test against the West Indies in the series, specially arranged for Tendulkar’s farewell, will be hosted by Eden Gardens in Kolkata from Nov 6-10. Both the venues have been promoted ‘out-of-turn’ to host the ‘all important’ series.
Bangalore and Ahmedabad were the venues in line to host the Test as per the Board’s rotation policy, but now, they will have to wait for their turn. The series, scheduled to begin on Oct 31 with a three-day game in Cuttack, is fast turning out to be an out-and-out Tendulkar affair. They say nobody is bigger than the game, but the BCCI, by going out of its way and breaking its own norms to accede to Tendulkar’s requests, has proved the proverb wrong.
India were not scheduled to play any Test series at home this year and as per the International Cricket Council’s FTP they were to travel to South Africa for a full tour in November-December.
While that tour is still to see the light of the day, thanks to the spat between the two Boards, the BCCI has gone ahead in calling the West Indies and sealing Tendulkar’s retirement plan.
“Tendulkar had requested that the 200th Test match should be given to Mumbai, so that his mother could also watch the match. The BCCI president and the BCCI thought about it and accepted it. Keeping that sentiment in mind, it has been allocated to Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai,” Shukla said.
“Both Test matches are going to be important, it requires a bigger venue and so the first Test match has been given to Kolkata.” The BCCI overlooked the fact that Tendulkar has a better record in Bangalore than the Wankhede and Eden. In Kolkata, Tendulkar has played 12 Tests and scored 862 runs at an average of 47.88. At his home ground in Mumbai, he has scored 847 runs from 10 matches with just one century to show.
Tendulkar has racked up 869 runs in 9 Tests at 62.07 with two centuries in Bangalore while he has struck three tons in Motera.
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