Dhoni felicitated as Eden Gardens names four stands after stalwarts

The short ceremony during the innings break of the third ODI between India and England saw the CAB felicitating Dhoni and unveiling the names of the four stands after Ganguly, Roy, Dalmiya and Dutt.

M.S. Dhoni

Sourav Ganguly greets M. S. Dhoni at the felicitation ceremony.   -  K. R. Deepak

Sourav Ganguly, Pankaj Roy, Jagmohan Dalmiya and Biswanath Dutt — the four stalwarts from Bengal who made it to the hall of fame of Indian cricket — were immortalised on Sunday with four stands of the iconic Eden Gardens being named after them. The former Indian captain Ganguly, who is the current president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), gave consent to this concept. The only previous nomenclature in the 153-year-old venue was the club house named after the first Chief Minister of Bengal, Dr. B.C. Roy.

The short ceremony, which happened during the innings break of the third ODI between India and England here on Sunday, also saw the CAB felicitating one of the most successful captains of the country, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This was in recognition of the achievement of the man who led India to World Cup triumphs in both ODI and T20 formats, in a sparking career which also saw India reaching the peak in Tests. Eden has made it a tradition of felicitating the illustrious names of the game whenever it hosted an international match in the last few years.

Dhoni was feted by another World Cup-winning captain, Kapil Dev, with an almost capacity crowd of around 60,000 chanted "Dhoni, Dhoni", as he was also presented with a memento and a shawl by the CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya and P.V. Shetty of Mumbai Cricket Association. The spectators were also shown a short video of the former Indian captain playing his trademark shots and received loud cheers from the stands.

Dhoni was in his usual self and received the accolade with his trademark smile before rushing back to his colleagues in the pavilion as India faced the daunting task of overhauling a target of 322 runs set by England.

The rechristening of the stands also happed with much fan fare as Kapil Dev joined other captains in unveiling the illuminated signages that bore the names of the four stalwarts, who served Indian cricket either as players (Ganguly and Roy) or administrators (Dalmiya and Dutt). Former Indian and English captains Sunil Gavaskar and Naseer Hussain took turns in unveiling the names, pressing a remote button from the ground.