Kolkata sees pink | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:25 AM, November 23, 2019

Kolkata sees pink

The day began in much splendour as the crowd began to roll in at the Eden Gardens for both India and Bangladesh’s first-ever pink ball Test. Newly-appointed BCCI president Sourav Ganguly made a myriad of arrangements to usher in the pink revolution at Kolkata.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was invited by Ganguly and her Indian counterpart to watch the historic Test match, was received by the BCCI chief along with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief Nazmul Hassan at the stadium before the game. The Bangladesh Prime Minister and West Bengal Chief Minister were then escorted to the ground before both teams lined up and the captains introduced their players to the Prime Minister and Chief Minister.

The toss took place and under the bright sun, Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque won the toss and elected to bat on what was a sporting track with something in it for the seamers.

While a paratrooper show, which had been planned to hand over the ceremonial pink balls to the captains of both sides, was scrapped due to safety issues, it did not put a damper on the atmosphere with a colourful and vocal crowd churning it up.

The Indian army band played the national anthem of both sides before it was time for the tolling of the ceremonial bell by Prime Minister Hasina to officially begin the pink ball match between the two countries.

The Prime Minister and Chief Minister left after the end of the first session, where Bangladesh had lost six top-order batsmen.

At supper, Star Sports organized a show with Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Rahul Dravid was originally supposed to be a part of the show but could not make it in time.

At Tea, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mithali Raj -- former captains of the India side -- were escorted round the ground in golf carts for a lap of honour. Bangladesh had been bundled out for a meagre 106 in just 30.3 overs by then.

India would then accumulate 176 runs for the loss of three wickets by the end of the third session. At the end of the day’s play, a cultural show orchestrated to the musical performance of Runa Laila was performed.

There were felicitations from Prime Minister Hasina and the Chief Minister for players of both sides and also for the former players of Bangladesh and India that participated in Bangladesh’s inaugural Test in 2000.

BCCI president Ganguly, BCB president Nazmul Hasan, former India skipper Sachin Tendulkar, chief minister Mamata and Prime Minister Hasina then delivered speeches in the felicitation programme.

While the atmosphere was a vibrant one for the spectators, the Bangladesh team were bundled out for just 106 runs with the Indian pace battery running rampant. It was a brilliant atmosphere for fans with the pink ball fest a lively one but there was not much to rejoice in for the Tigers on a day that belonged to India.

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