This could be a prized memorabilia and one day will be worth a lot more than it cost. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) plans to have a portrait sketch of Sachin Tendulkar on the tickets for the legend’s 199th and penultimate match of his career to be played at the Eden Gardens from November 6.
And this has struck the right chord with the Kolkatans, many of whom have a penchant for collecting stamps.
“After all, these two Tests are going to be exceptional and high on emotions. We want to take this match ticket to the level of being called a memorabilia,” said CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey.
“If this happens, it is going to be the first time in the history of Eden Gardens that a ticket will carry an image of a cricketer playing in the match,” he said adding, “We would have done the same for Sourav [Ganguly] but unfortunately his last match was not here.”
In the meanwhile, the sale of tickets has caused an uproar among the Kolkatans. The counters have been shut to avoid stampede and barely 5,000 tickets — out of the 68,000 capacity — will be made available and that too, online.
“Kolkata is not that tech-savvy. They are not too fond of buying tickets online as they enjoy waiting in the queue for long hours. This has been the culture but we couldn’t help this time,” he added.
Recently, commentator Harsha Bhogle had tweeted criticising the cricket administration’s policy of reserving tickets for members and patrons and said it was unfair to the general public.
Dey cleared the air by talking about the system at Eden. “We have 30,000 general members who pay a yearly fee. They are also public. There are categories — some pay Rs 75 a year, the others Rs 150. Everyone is public.”
“We also have affiliated units through which tickets are distributed- class, districts, universities and offices. Ultimately, the tickets reach the common people only.”
Among other plans, the CAB is discussing the guest list for the Test match. “Names like Brian Lara are being discussed but nothing will be final before next week,” said Dey.
However, CAB President Jagmohan Dalmiya is not to keen on discussing as to how he plans to make it memorable for Sachin Tendulkar. “You have to wait till Tuesday. If we make all our plans public, there will be no excitement later on,” he told dna.
About the idea of having Sachin’s image on the ticket, he said: “I will be in a position to comment once it is approved by the board.”
(Before joining DNA sports, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya worked with The Hindu Business Line as a freelancer, and in front and behind the camera for Broadcast Telecast Worldwide (Kolkata). Apart from penning and editing stories, he is also a photographer and a musician. The above article has been republished with permission from DNA, where it first appeared)