| Fans enjoy the match at home. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar did not bat on the opening day of his penultimate Test at the Eden Gardens. Yet, Patnaites remained glued to TV sets.
Each time Sachin looked up at the stands or waved at fans in Calcutta, tube-watchers behaved like as if they were at the ground, around 500km away. Every run saved by Sachin was cheered at homes.
There were thunderous claps in most homes when Sachin came to roll over his arms just before Tea. Four balls later, the roar from drawing rooms reached the roads, as he trapped Shane Shillingford leg before wicket.
The Master Blaster’s last (wicket-taking) ball before Tea gave enough meat to his fans to discuss his contributions to Team India.
Ashish Sinha, a budding cricketer and the president of Patna University Students’ Union (Pusu), said: “For ardent cricket lovers who idolise Sachin, watching him play his 199th Test at the Eden Gardens and 200th at the Wankhede in Mumbai would be a lifetime achievement.”
Sinha, who met the Master Blaster at the National Cricket Academy camp in Bangalore in 2008, said: “I won’t be going to watch Sachin playing at the Eden Gardens and later at the Wankhede because of the festival session. But I shall be watching him playing on TV, as I did today (Wednesday).”
Ashish sat in front of a TV set on Wednesday with some of his friends right from the morning.
Some cricket enthusiasts are in Calcutta to watch Sachin “live”. Amikar Dayal, who runs the Cricket Academy of Bihar at Moinul Haq Stadium, is one among them. He saw Sachin picking up the wicket of Shillingford at Eden.
Not only the cricket enthusiasts, common people were equally excited over Sachin’s 199th appearance in the Test cricket. But hardly any restaurant made special arrangements to mark the occasion. The reason their management gave was Chhath.
Bollywood Treats, the restaurant of hotel Maurya, had nothing “special” for the Master Blaster’s penultimate Test, but that did not stop people from discussing him over lunch. Most of the guests concentrated on a TV set beaming Sachin live than on the platters in front of them.
B.D. Singh, the general manager of Maurya, said: “Youngsters having meals in our restaurant appeared excited about Sachin’s 199th Test. But we have not gone for special dishes because of Chhath.”
During the 2011 ICC World Cup, several hotels and restaurants had introduced dishes named after players. Tendulkar Khaas and Dhoni Gosth were instant hits.
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