Fans on a ‘pilgrimage’ as Sachin plays his last match in Kolkata
Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Kolkata: Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar is playing his last competitive cricket match in Kolkata, at the famous Eden Gardens stadium.
And the city seems to have gone crazy to give farewell to the man who helped India become a cricketing ‘superpower’.
In the morning, fans had lined up at the stadium to catch a glimpse of Tendulkar who is playing his penultimate, 199th Test match against West Indies here.
More people could be seen outside the stadium than inside. There were long queues and eager fans waiting to get in to catch a glimpse of the Master.
Visitors West Indies are batting first on Day 1 after winning the toss.
During the morning rush, fans were not even ready to spare time and speak to the waiting media; they appeared more concerned about entering the stadium.
One of the causes behind the mad rush is that there was a serious crunch for tickets for the match.
Only 5000 tickets were available for the general public, with over 60,000 tickets being distributed among Board members.
Many fans had to go back home from the ticket counters disappointed when the ticket sale was on.
Sachin meanwhile did not disappoint the fans, taking one wicket during the course of West Indies’ batting.
Watching Sachin play for one last time in Kolkata is equivalent to a "pilgrimage" for some fans.
"It is a pilgrimage...first day of the historic Test match. Watching the Master for one last time. Feeling emotional..," said banker Gourav 'Tendulkar' Chakraborty, who took five days’ leave to follow the Test match.
"We are from Assam and we have come all the way on a Sachin pilgrimage," said a group from the northeastern state.
"It is an experience of a lifetime...we are here for Sachin...even if he doesn't score a century we won't mind...we just want to watch him play for the last time," said a fan at the venue.
Chants of "Sachin Sachin" resonated across the venue – both outside and inside.