Mohali: The admiration for living legend Sachin Tendulkar isn’t restricted to only cricketers and die-hard cricket fans, but stalwarts from other fields have often confessed that cricket for them means Tendulkar.
Two of India’s leading actors — Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan — have often said that it is a matter of great pride that the Master Blaster is an Indian.
Now that Tendulkar is all set to play his farewell Test series and Eden Gardens slated to hold his penultimate Test – No. 199 –, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is trying to convince the duo to be present during the last two days of the match against the West Indies.
Incidentally, the two leading stars of Bollywood will be in the City of Joy to inaugurate the Kolkata Film Festival on November 10 and the CAB wants them to drop in a day in advance to be a part of celebrations in honour of Tendulkar.
Speaking to Mail Today, a senior CAB official confirmed that plans are already afoot to bring in the two stalwarts of Indian cinema so that they can share the dais with Tendulkar during the presentation ceremony at the Kolkata Test.
“Yes, we are trying our best to have Amitabh and Shah Rukh grace the auspicious occasion."
"Luckily for us, the two will be in Kolkata on November 10 to be a part of the film festival. We are trying to make them agree to come to the Eden Gardens on November 9 – so that they could be a part of our celebrations on Day 4, and then join the rest of the BCCI officials and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during the presentation ceremony on November 10,” he said.
He further added that the West Indies legend Brian Lara would also be sent out an invitation as he shares a great camaraderie with Tendulkar.
“We have decided to invite Lara as well. We hope he finds some time from his busy schedule to turn up at the Eden. The two share great admiration for each other despite the debate as to who is the greatest among the two. Despite being arch-rivals, their friendship has remained unaffected,” he opined.
Commenting on rumours that Tendulkar’s family — including his mother — would be flown in to watch the Test, he said: “Isn’t it obvious that not only us, but even Sachin would want his family to watch him as he walks on to one of his favourite stadiums for one last time? But considering the fact that his mother is no longer in the pink of health, we don’t know if she will be able to make it. But we hope she does accept our invitation.”
Plans have been made not just to celebrate Tendulkar’s penultimate match, but also to give the fans the feel of a carnival.
“Apart from our plan of printing Tendulkar’s picture on the tickets after BCCI’s permission, we have decided to distribute Tendulkar’s masks on all the five days. The masks will have different facial expressions of the little maestro and will be given to every ticket holder, so that they can not only wear them during the Test, but also keep them as memorabilia."
“Also, we will have slogans printed on placards to congratulate Tendulkar for his 24th year in international cricket. There are other plans too, but I can’t divulge any more as we don’t want the Mumbai Cricket Association to have an idea of our plan of action (laughs),” he signed off.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.