Fan frenzy sweeps Kolkata on day one of Sachin’s 199th test
It was Sachin Tendulkar written all over the Eden Gardens as thousands of his fans from all walks of life poured in to watch the batting legend in action one last time at the ground in his penultimate and 199th Test match.
Office-goers, who took leaves, and school and college students, who missed their classes, were welcomed at the stadium with large Tendulkar posters, which quoted the champion batsman as saying: "Enjoy your game and chase your dreams, because dreams do come true".
Die-hards fans walked in with 'Sachin' painted on their faces in tri-colours. Among those in attendance were Tendulkar's wife Anjali and son Arjun, who came from Mumbai to cheer him for the second last time.
The toss started amid chants of 'Sachin, Sachin' but fans were left disappointed as India lost the toss and West Indies chose to bat first in the opening Test of the two-match series. Half of the seats in the 65,000 capcity Eden were empty.
On hearing the news, many fans chose to stay away from today's proceedings as they wanted to watch their favourite cricketer bat for the last time at the historic Eden Gardens.
"I will come tomorrow instead. All I want is to see Sachin bat. This is my last opportunity to see him in action here," said banker Vinay Thakur, who cancelled his office leave at 9 am after checking the toss result on his cellphone.