Kolkata, Nov 5 (): For the legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, the first Test match against the West Indies beginning on November 6 is his 199th match and the last outing at the iconic Eden Gardens. When the maestro arrived in Kolkata Eden Gardens on Monday, he got a bouquet of 199 roses.
Sachin’s retirement was being guessed for months before the batsman finally announced his decision to quit first-class cricket on October 10. In a statement released by the BCCI, Sachin said the two-Test series against the West Indies in November would be his last, taking his tally to an unprecedented 200 matches. So, the first Eden Gardens Test match will be his penultimate Test match (199th match).
Grand ceremonies have been planned for Sachin Tendulkar’s 199th Test in Kolkata and the 200th in Mumbai. The first Test starts at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Wednesday. With just one day to go for the start of the special Test, it looks the entire city is ready for ‘Sachin salute’ even as the Cricket Board of Bengal plans to make each day of the match special.
When Tendulkar stepped down from the team bus this morning, confetti were burst near the gate, while 80 schoolchildren wearing T-shirts with the Mumbai batsman’s photo and 199 written on the back, lined up till the dressing room to greet the senior most cricketer.
With songs on Sachin filling the air, the team trouped past the bigger-than-life wax statue of Sachin placed near the entrance to the dressing rooms.
Elsewhere in the city, the celebration began on Sunday when a tableau bearing the life-size cardboard cut outs of Tendulkar and decorated with lights, was flagged off from the Eden Gardens with a message board for fans.
The Bengal government has planned to place 200 giant screens across the state to enable fans to watch the India-West Indies Test match. Such giant screens are also planned to be put up at shopping malls like South City and other popular spots in Kolkata.