Kolkata gripped by pink frenzy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 21, 2019

Kolkata gripped by pink frenzy

Bangladesh will play their first Day-Night Test when they take on India in the second Test at Kolkata from November 22. The Tigers practiced during the morning yesterday with India’s practice scheduled for the afternoon and ahead of the Test at the City of joy, the Eden Gardens began its pink transformation.

There is a lot of attention on this Test match, not only because it is a day-night Test match but particularly because it is the first one that India and Bangladesh will play.

A flurry of activities had already marked the build-up to the historic Test at the Eden Gardens. Landmark sites in Kolkata such as The 42, Shaheed Minar and some KMC parks were already illuminated by pink lights.

It was a festive atmosphere in Kolkata and preparation-wise, things were fast rolling towards the pink celebration. One can even enjoy the cozy pink even while floating along the Ganges on a launch between the Howrah Bridge and Vidyasagar Setu, both of which will be lighting up the waters till matchday. It was not all pink though, and the Kolkata streets with their blue tones added a nice aura to the pink revolution.

Inside the stadium, art students worked on graffiti -- an idea reportedly given by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly himself -- near the clubhouse of the stadium premises.

It depicted a boy who started his journey from street cricket and reached the India national team. ‘Pinku’, one of the official mascots the Test, was also attracting the attention of a crowd which gathered to watch players from both teams.

The BCCI president came to have a look at the centre pitches before going into his office yesterday. Asked what the plans for the Test match were, the busy Sourav reiterated that lots of activities were planned for the historic Test.

“There will be a lot of arrangements. The first day will be full of cricket and functions. There will be paratroopers coming down from planes to hand over balls to the prime minister, chief minister and captains,” he told reporters.

“There is the bell ringing ceremony,” he said of the ceremony where Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee will ring the Eden Gardens bell to commemorate the occasion.

Bangladesh’s contingent of players who played in Bangladesh’s debut Test have all been invited for the occasion. The likes of Naimur Rahman, Akram Khan, Khaled Mashud and Hasibul Hossain are set to be present alongside India stalwarts such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Musicians will also light up the occasion at cricket’s answer to the Colosseum.

“Star [Sports] will be doing a show with Sachin [Tendulkar], Kapil [Dev], [Sunil] Gavaskar and Rahul [Dravid]. At tea time, a cart will take former captains around the ground. There will also be a musical performance. There will be felicitations with both the team’s former captains, [Bangladesh’s] prime minister and [West Bengal’s] chief minister. Runa Laila and Jeet Ganguly will be performing and Sourendro-Soumyojit too. So, a whole lot of functions,” Ganguly said.

The pink ball Test has gripped the locality as far as public response is concerned and Ganguly was ecstatic.

“Just see the excitement. Four days are already sold out. When have you last seen a Test match where four days were sold out?” he questioned. “The tickets are gone.”

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