The idea of day-night matches to bring back crowds to Test matches is heading for a grand success right from the inception of the first match. As the Eden Gardens in Kolkata gears up to host the first ever day-night Test match in India, tickets for the first three days of the ‘pink ball’ Test between the hosts and Bangladesh have been fully sold out.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India president, Sourav Ganguly has said the game is a complete sell out on the first three days. “We are happy that it’s a sell out for the first three days,” Ganguly said.
The CAB remained non-committal over counter sale of tickets. “All the sellable tickets were already sold out online. We are now have left with limited number quota tickets. Now it remains to be seen if they will take them or not. We will only be able to evaluate on November 19,” Cricket Association of Bengal secretary Avishek Dalmiya added.
Probability of the Test between the mighty hosts and Bangladesh might just be getting over in three days has led to a lesser interest for the tickets of the fourth and the fifth day.
In another initiative to keep the crowds engaged, during the 20-minute tea break former Indian cricket team captains and a galaxy of sport stars from other disciplines will be taken out on carts making a round of the ground along the boundary lines.
During the 40-minute supper break, the CAB has also organised a talk show featuring the ‘Fabulous Five’ – Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman. They will walk down the memory lane, delving on the epic 2001 Test win against Australia in Kolkata.
“This will be showed on the giant screen. It will be clearly audible to the spectators,” Avishek said.
Following the first day’s play, team members of the first Test between India and Bangladesh will be felicitated followed by speeches given by the dignitaries including Bangaldesh Primer Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh deputy high commission and the Kolkata Police will conduct two separate security inspections at the stadium and the team hotel on today (Saturday).
Meanwhile, Army paratroopers will fly into the Eden Gardens to hand over a pink ball each of the two captains just before the toss of the historic day-night between India and Bangladesh, beginning here on November 22.
Detailing out their plans for India’s first-ever pink-ball Test, Cricket Association of Bengal secretary Avishek Dalmiya said: “The paratroopers will fly into the wicket with two pink balls. We have discussed the plans with the Army (Eastern Command).”
The Army will also play out the National Anthems of both the countries before the start of play.
This will be followed by the ringing of the customary Eden Bell by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the first lot of pink balls were delivered in Kolkata on Friday. “Three of them were given to (curator) Sujan Da. Wicket is a bit soft now. After the wicket is ready in a couple of days, he will test the ball,” CAB joint-secretary Debabrata Das said.
The second and the last game of the two-Test series between India and Bangladesh is scheduled to be played from November 22 to 25. The play will start at 1:00 pm on all match days.