With farewell man Sachin Tendulkar turning down the Cricket Association of Bengal’s request to attend a felicitation dinner on the eve of India-West Indies' Nov 5 Test match to played at the Eden Gardens, the CAB has decided to make it a private affair.
The CAB had initially planned to make lavish arrangements for the dinner by inviting members of the two sides, former players, and eminent personalities for the event. “When we invited him, Sachin told us he needs to focus on the Test match, and so he would like to skip the dinner. We respect his decision. Other players of the two sides are also not been invited. BCCI members, and local cricket officials we attend the dinner now,” said CAB joint secretary Subir Ganguly.
Asked whether BCCI president N Srinivasan would attend the gala, Ganguly said: "He will surely come for the match. But we are yet to get confirmation from him for the dinner”.
Before the dinner, CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya will unveil a souvenir and a special gold coin, with Tendulkar’s image embossed on it. The coin will later be used for the toss.
Ganguly said cricketing legend Brian Lara, a close friend of Tendulkar, is likely to spend a day in Kolkata during the Test match. “We invited lot of other foreign players. Some of them have said they have other preoccupations during the period. But we are hopeful at least a couple of them would turn up,” he said.
Among those invited are Shane Warne and Vivian Richards. Meanwhile, West Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra said three two-seater aircrafts would be put into use for spraying 199 kg rose petals on Tendulkar after the last day of the match.
Mitra said the state government would come up with “some surprises” to fete Tendulkar. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would attend the match Nov 9.