Expressing disappointment at the retirement of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar from one-dayers, former Pakistan batsman Sadiq Mohammad on Tuesday wished the batting great had played his last match at the Eden Gardens for an apt farewell.
"It is a great disappointment that I won't get to see Sachin bat again in one-dayers. I am surprised at his retirement," said Sadiq, who is in the country as a goodwill ambassador for the India-Pakistan bilateral series.
"It would have been great had Sachin played this game and bowed out before the magnificent crowd here. That would have been an apt farewell for him. Usually, great players announce their final game. Eden would have been the ideal place to bow out of the game," Sadiq told mediapersons at the iconic venue which will on Thursday host the second game of the three-match One-Day International series.
Reminiscing the swansong match of his former captain Asif Iqbal who was given a standing ovation by 85,000 spectators at the Eden in 1980, Mohammad said, "I was here watching the game. It was a great sight. Every player of Asif's calibre deserves a send-off of that kind."
Sadiq said the buzz of the stadium packed to the hilt still plays in his mind.
"I played here in 1979 and performing before a crowd of 93,000 is a big pressure, especially when you are an opening batsman. The feeling I had while entering the ground to open the innings is still fresh in my mind," he said.
The Pakistani also hoped that more bilateral series' would be played in future between the two neighbours.
"It is sad that for a handful of people, both the countries have been deprived of this beautiful game. Both the countries should come forward to ensure more such series are played and the relations between the countries improve," he said.
With Pakistan one-up, Sadiq bet on Pakistan to come up trumps in the series.
"We are here to win but India can bounce back, like they did in the T20 series. But Pakistan stands a good chance," added Sadiq.