Calcutta: The Wankhede in Mumbai will host Sachin Tendulkar’s landmark 200th and final Test with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday acceding to the legendary batsman’s wish to play his farewell match in front of his home crowd.
The BCCI’s tour, programme and fixtures committee, headed by Rajeev Shukla, met in Mumbai and chalked out the detailed schedule of the hastily-arranged series against the West Indies, comprising two Tests and three one-dayers to be held next month.
“Tendulkar had requested that the 200th Test match should be given to Mumbai, so that his mother could also watch the match. The BCCI and its president thought about it and accepted it... Keeping that sentiment in mind, it has been allocated to Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai (scheduled from November 14-18),” Shukla said.
Eden Gardens will host the opening clash of the series from November 6 to 10 and like Wankhede, gets an ‘out-of-turn’ Test match. According to the BCCI’s rotational policy, it was actually Bangalore and Ahmedabad’s turn.
“The committee decided to give the first Test match against West Indies to Calcutta,” he said.
“Since both the Test matches are going to be important, it requires a bigger venue. A stadium which is large… That is why the first Test has been given to Calcutta,” Shukla said.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar also welcomed the BCCI decision. “Sachin made his first-class debut at the Wankhede and since he is playing his last Test there, his cricketing career will come a complete circle.
“Everybody is hoping that he would score a hundred in his last Test. But what about scoring a double or a triple hundred? That would be the real icing on the cake,” Gavaskar told a TV channel.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is planning a grand farewell for Sachin when it hosts the first Test. It will hold an emergent working committee meeting to make Sachin’s last ever appearance at the Eden a special one.
“Sachin himself had called me up. We would certainly like to give a fitting farewell to Sachin. An emergent working committee meeting will be convened at the earliest to decide on how the occasion can be made into a special one for him.
“We’ll be inviting his family members and his mother (Rajni) too. We aren’t yet ready with the detailed plan. It will still take another two to three days to finalise them,” CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Tuesday.
Along with his family members, CAB also plans to invite Tendulkar’s mentor Ramakant Achrekar. “It will be a very special occasion. So, we’ll be inviting Mr Achrekar too… of course, only if his health permits,” treasurer Biswarup Dey said.
He added that there wouldn’t be any rise in ticket prices for the Eden Test.