Tendulkar gets ready for one last act - The New Indian Express

Tendulkar gets ready for one last act

Published: 14th November 2013 02:56 AM

Last Updated: 14th November 2013 02:56 AM

For a show that kept the nation transfixed for 24 years, there are no visible signs of sadness when it comes to the last act. Sachin Tendulkar will become history after the Test against the West Indies starting on Thursday and yet, the mood prevailing in his city is mixed.

Among those expected in the stands is Tendulkar’s mother Rajani. She has never been to the ground to watch her son play. Considering that she will come in a wheelchair, a small and temporary ramp has been installed. Tendulkar’s coach Ramakant Achrekar is expected too, on his famous pupil’s personal invitation.

 

Despite the clamour for tickets, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has kept prices within reach. Season tickets were in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 2,500, not counting the hospitality boxes. “This is a special match, not a profit match,” grinned MCA treasurer Vinod Deshpande. He added the association has made an exception and given Tendulkar 500 free tickets to distribute to his friends and relatives.

The local cricket fraternity is talking about the void. “Players will come. Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara have arrived. But the big difference is, Sachin did this for 24 years. It’s impossible that someone will be able to do that,” said Tendulkar’s Mumbai teammate Amol Muzumdar.

“It will take a while to realise Sachin is gone,” said Paras Mhambrey, assistant coach of Mumbai Indians and former India bowler.

There is apprehension too. Those dealing in cricket equipment have noticed a drop in business since the IPL match-fixing controversy. “There has been a 30% fall is sales. Sachin’s retirement may result in a new low,” said Dharmesh Nadkarni of Nadkarni Sports, a store that sponsored Tendulkar’s bat before he played for India.

There is also a festive feel. MCA president Sharad Pawar has invited dignitaries and actor Aamir Khan may be among them. BCCI president N Srinivasan is here despite his cold vibes with Pawar. People and moods of various flavour have come together to bid farewell to someone who fared better than well. 

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