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Your guide to pink ball Test

'Beginning of something special in Indian cricket'
The Shahid Minar basks in a pink glow on the eve of the first-ever pink ball day-night Test to be played in India.
The Shahid Minar basks in a pink glow on the eve of the first-ever pink ball day-night Test to be played in India.
Picture by Pradip Sanyal

TT Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 21.11.19, 09:17 PM

India and Bangladesh will play a Test like never before at the Eden Gardens from Friday.

The pink ball day-night Test, the first in India and for both teams, is going to be the “beginning of something special in Indian cricket,” according to newly appointed BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who pulled off a coup of sorts by getting both teams on board to play.

The organisers have hit the right notes in the run-up to the match. The city, painted pink in adverts, is under the spell of a Test fever after many years.

The craze for tickets can give competition to a big-ticket IPL clash. From club lounges to Metro coaches, a ticket to the Test is the most sought-after thing.

The courtyard leading to the administrative block of Eden has been teeming with people — ticket seekers, CAB officials, broadcasters, former players, domestic players and cops — for the past few days.

Eden’s capacity, post-renovation, is 67,599. The ground seats a few less because some seats are behind the sight screens.

“We expect a full house on the first three days,” said a CAB official. Going by the current form of the Indian pace battery, the match might be over within that time.

Virat Kohli’s men had a full-throttle practice in the morning. The cameras went click click every time the Team India captain, dressed in a sleeveless team vest that showed his ripped physique and inked left arm, made a move.

A host of dignitaries, including Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, will be at the stands on Friday. Hasina and Mamata will ring a bell to mark the start of the game.

Here’s all you need to know about the Test, whether you are headed to the stadium or anywhere else.

 Toss with ceremonial gold coin at: 12.30pm

Match starts at: 1pm

Gates open at: 11am

Supper break: 3pm to 3.40pm

Tea: 5.40pm to 6pm

Scheduled close of play: 8pm

Don’t carry: Firecracker, radio, camera, backpack, metal box, plastic bottle (water pouches will be available at the stadium), mirror or any object that can be used as a missile. Smoking and drinking at the stadium are banned

Can carry: Lady’s handbag, cap and binocular

Umbrella: Will be allowed if it rains. The Met office has predicted bright and sunny weather for the next few days. Expect a hint of chill after sundown, said a Met official

Ball: The pink SG ball will make its India debut in the Test. The makers have promised seam, swing and extra bounce

Lights: The floodlights will start glowing at least an hour before sunset (4.52pm on Friday). The lights in all four towers take at least 20 minutes to attain the maximum luminance

Pink: There will be a touch of pink everywhere in the stadium, from the stands to signboards and scoreboards.

The sight screen, however, is going to remain white. After the Bangladesh Prime Minister enters the stadium around 12.30pm, army paratroopers will fly into Eden to hand over a pink ball each to the two captains

Post-match: Performance by singer Runa Laila, felicitation of former players and a programme by music director Jeet Gannguli

Police arrangement: Around 3,000 cops will be deployed at the stadium

Transport: Each day’s match gets over by 8pm, two hours before the end of Metro services. The transport department has arranged for 25 additional buses for ferrying cricket buffs to different parts of the city and Howrah. The buses will be parked at the Esplanade bus stand and will start leaving from 8pm. The police have been asked to inform viewers about the location of the buses once they step out of the stadium.

The buses will be available till 10pm

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