MCA Plans apos;low-key apos; Goodbye For Sachin

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'We want the focus on the Test match': MCA plans 'low-key' goodbye for Sachin By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Shreyas+Sharma Shreyas Sharma]
Published: 21:03 BST, 12 November 2013 | Updated: 01:36 BST, 13 November 2013
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comments] Sachin Tendulkar with son Arjun during a practice session in Mumbai

Eden Gardens is always a tough act to follow for any cricket venue, but the startling reality that greets one on the ground here is that the buzz surrounding home hero Sachin Tendulkar's final Test seems a little flat.

There are the disappointed fans who weren't able to get their hands on a ticket for the maestro's 200th and;u=6983 final Test. There are also those who lined up at the corner of 'D' Road and Marine Drive outside the Wankhede Stadium, to cheer the Indian team bus as a matter of habit.

But compared to hype and hoopla in Kolkata, things are a bit low key - and that's by design, according to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). 

An association official told Mail Today that while the tops of the stadium galleries would be dotted with posters bearing each of Sachin's 51 Test hundreds, they weren't going to go over the top like the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) did - something that didn't please the man himself.

"We realise that first and foremost, there is a Test match to be played here, so we want the focus to be on that. As far as Sachin is concerned, obviously he will be felicitated in the grandest manner, befitting his stature. But that'll come later. For now, there will be a stamp unveiled and we'll have the posters of his hundreds, but we've learned from the mistakes of the CAB and our attempt is to keep the celebrations low-key," he told Mail Today.

For Sachin, though, it was business as usual on Tuesday afternoon as he batted in the nets for one and a half hours.

But there was one difference - as he descended from the dressing room, son Arjun walked toe-to-toe with his father towards the nets.

A few tips later, Arjun started bowling left-arm pace to Sachin's teammates even as the master took up his bat and began by facing the spinners.

Though a father-son duel didn't take place, Arjun did take advantage of the situation to approach India bowling coach Joe Dawes and take a few pointers on his run-up and bowling. Meanwhile, inside the MCA office behind the main pavilion, the rush for tickets was immense - but not from the broken-hearted public.

While it is known that a large chunk of tickets has been kept aside for affiliate clubs, MCA and club members are also queuing up to lay their claims on this allocation.

When Mail Today tried to approach the office-bearers for comment, they were said to be busy in meetings all day.

Obviously the big news of the day was the proposed demolition of an illegal building in the city, rendering more than a hundred families homeless, something that dominated the airwaves.

But there are now a maximum of six days left till Sachin leaves the cricket field for good - one practice session and, West Indies permitting, five days of Test cricket.

And while there won't be wax statues and two tonnes of rose petals in his home city, 'Bandra Boy' Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar will certainly remain the favourite son of the city for a while longer.