India vs Bangladesh: No Army paratroopers for handing over pink ball to captains

Security concerns meant the Cricket Association of Bengal cancelled its plan to have Army paratroopers flying into the Eden Gardens to hand over a pink ball.

The Indian cricket fraternity will be keenly watching whether the idea of the pink-ball day/night Test can bring back the spectators to the longer version of the game.   -  Getty Images

Security concerns meant the Cricket Association of Bengal cancelled its plan to have Army paratroopers flying into the Eden Gardens to hand over a pink ball each to the captains before the toss of the day-night Test.

According to sources at CAB, the security clearance did not come a day ahead of the historic match between India and Bangladesh here.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah won’t be in attendance as per the final programme list sent by the CAB. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate India’s first-ever D/N Test by ringing the customary Eden Bell just before the start of play.

With the match taking place in winter, there is also a change in the conventional pink ball Test timing, where tea break is followed by a lengthy 40-minute supper.

The Eden Test will have the usual lunch break after the first session, at 3pm, while the last break would be tea, spanning 20 minutes.

As per the ICC norm, playing conditions can be altered by mutual consent of both the countries.

During the lunch break there will be a chat show involving Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, the architect of the D/N Test.

The other former cricketers who have confirmed their presence include S Ramesh, Saba Karim, Sunil Joshi, Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammed Azharuddin, Kris Srikkanth, Farook Engineer and Chandu Borde.

Athletes from other sports disciplines will include Abhinav Bindra, P Gopichand, P. V.  Sindhu, Sania Mirza and Mary Kom, but chess legends Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen will not be able to turn up.

Naimur Rahman, Mohammed Mahmudul Hasan, Maharab Hossain, Mohammed Hasibul Hussain, Shahriar Hossain Biddut, Kazi Habibul Bashar and Mohammed Akram Khan are the former Bangaldesh cricketers who have confirmed their presence.

The tea break will feature an instrumental by Sorendu and Group while the former captains will be given a Lap of honour.

The grand felicitation will happen post-match with a performance by Runa Laila, while a cultural programme by Jeet Ganguly will conclude the opening day.