Kolkata, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Friday thanked the fans at Eden Gardens in a felicitation ceremony that was held at the end of the first day’s play in the first ever day-night Test involving India.
The iconic stadium was packed to the rafters for the second Test between India and Bangladesh and a number of famous personalities ranging from former cricketers, athletes from other sports and politicians were present on the occasion.
“What we saw today at Eden Gardens is a huge step forward for Test cricket,” Ganguly said in his speech.
“It’s you — all the people in this stadium — who make cricket such a popular game. We at the BCCI and the CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) thank you whole-heartedly for turning out in huge numbers for the first ever pink ball Test match in Kolkata.
“Hopefully we will continue to see all of you turning up in Test matches, not just in Kolkata but throughout the country,” he said.
Among those present on the dias with Ganguly were his former India teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and several dignitaries from the BCCI and the CAB.
Athletes from sports other than cricket present on the occasion included tennis star Sania Mirza, reigning badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu, boxing great M.C. Mary Kom, all of whom were felicitated after Ganguly made his speech.
Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir, who is part of Star Sports’ commentary team, said, “Today the respect for BCCI increases a lot because you are supporting and inspiring athletes from other sports by felicitating them.”
Apart from Gambhir, Tendulkar and Ganguly himself, former captain and National Cricket Academy chief Rahul Dravid was also present on the occasion along with Anil Kumble, Sunil Gavaskar, Harbhajan Singh and V.V.S. Laxman, who are all doing commentary for the match.