Eden Gardens on 22/11: What happened that day

The pink ball flew, so did Wriddhiman Saha but not all stakeholders had a comfortable time on day one of Team India's maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata.

Published : Nov 23, 2019 14:23 IST , KOLKATA

The Eden Gardens embraced the pink theme on day one of India's first day-night Test against Bangladesh.
The Eden Gardens embraced the pink theme on day one of India's first day-night Test against Bangladesh.

The Eden Gardens embraced the pink theme on day one of India's first day-night Test against Bangladesh.

The roar at the Eden Gardens is goosebumps stuff. The sound travels from one stand to the other. When Sachin Tendulkar waved, the spectators acknowledged in chorus.

Day one of the pink ball Test was a starry affair.

Bumping into legends is fun. The grand reunion of former India and Bangladesh cricketers happened two floors down the press conference room. Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh — all entered one by one.

Journalists lost a few kilos by climbing up and down; the press box — through the stands — is almost on the sixth tier with no elevators.


Former Indian cricketers VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar during first day of the first day and night Test cricket match between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.

“This is a great pace attack; look how well they have maintained their consistency,” Azharuddin praised Ishant Sharma and Co. as the sixth wicket fell. Kris Srikkanth came and hugged him the next moment. Eden is a special ground for the classy batsman from Hyderabad. Thirty-four years ago, he made his international Test debut here.

Murali Kartik and Sunil Gavaskar were in the commentary box right next to the starry parliament; they were in and out to share pleasantries. Even the Indian selectors, Jatin Paranjpe, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh were around.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) authorities had a tough time keeping the TV reporters and photographers on a check. A few of them came in disguise and took their fancy phones out the moment they spotted the Tendulkars and the Gavaskars.

READ| Day-night Test: Beyond worries and pressure, five-for Ishant 'satisfied'

Bashar, Pilot in the stands

Wearing the Bangladesh Test blazer, former captain Habibul Bashar appeared in the press box out of nowhere. Even he had to walk through the stands. One senior citizen recognised him and requested for a selfie; that’s about it. Nobody else mobbed him. “The atmosphere is electric. It is good to see a Test match here,” Bashar said while holding a cigarette.

Khaled Mashud ‘Pilot’ joined the conversation. “We need to play more Test cricket,” said the former Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman. He looks cool in spiky hair with a lean built. He has kept himself supremely fit.

Mohammad Rafique also swung by.

Pink blazers

Former Indian cricketers K Srikanth and Kapil Dev wave at the crowd during a break on the first day of the first day and night Test cricket match between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.

Former India captain Kapil Dev and tennis star Sania Mirza wore pink blazers for the occasion. Talking about the experience, Mirza said, “I couldn’t say no to Sourav Ganguly. It feels great to be here.”

Kapil could not contain his excitement either. His movements straight down the wicket distracted Cheteshwar Pujara for a second. Realising he was walking while the batsman took guard, the Haryana hurricane sat down on the grass till the ball was bowled.

Hasina worries for Liton, Nayeem

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had returned to her hotel for a while. On returning in the evening for the final felicitation, she learnt that Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan suffered concussions.

She met the two cricketers as she was anxious about their health condition. Later, the cricketers were taken on a lap of honour in carts. 

READ| Mehidy Hasan becomes third concussion substitute in Tests against India

No plates to eat

The authorities probably miscalculated the supper time and that affected the body clock of a few journalists. People were inquiring for lunch from 2 pm. It was ready around 3.45 pm. But by 4:15 pm, all the plates were used up. There was some food but you had to pick one of those small plates, used to holding coffee cups, to grab a bite.

Even Dravid had to wait for a plate to arrive.

Two or three Bangladesh media people were sharing a plate. The high tea was good damage control but very few wanted to risk it. They had deadlines to meet and the report to finish.

READ| Virat Kohli fastest to 5000 Test runs as captain

“It will be better in the coming days. We faced a bit of difficulty to handle so many people. The issue has now been sorted,” said a source in CAB admitting that it is understandable that journalists can only be free when they are done with work.

There was a lot of hue and cry about the press box capacity. Bangladesh online media faced a bit of heat. They were initially denied entry and the higher-ups were contacted. In the end, it was all happy and peaceful. "We saw retired journalists and people with no accreditation here. We are at least covering the series right from the T20Is," said one of them.

Unfortunately, nobody stayed back to greet musician Jeet Ganguly who sang to empty stands in the end. In this part of the world, it is cricket that pulls 50,000 people, and not Bollywood songs. That's the beauty of Eden!

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