Kolkata : Like most grounds, the iconic Eden Gardens too loves India’s most loved cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the crowd here is yet to reconcile to the fact that they won’t be able to see anymore their favourite player coming out in the team’s blue jersey.
Tendulkar, who announced his retirement from the shorter format of the game prior to the bilateral ODI series against Pakistan, has a good record at the ground scoring 496 runs from 13 games, including an unbeaten 100 against Kenya in 1998.
“Sachin is like a magnet which keeps attracting spectators to the ground no matter how old he gets. The people love watching him whether he is batting, bowling or just fielding. It is sad to say the least that we won’t see him again in One-dayers,” said 40-year-old Akash Bhowmick.
Tendulkar’s last appearance here in coloured clothing was in 2009 when India chased down Sri Lanka’s 315/6 with 7 wickets and 11 balls to spare.
It’s not only the spectators, but even former players and Pakistani media have expressed their disappointment at his “sudden” retirement.
Former Pakistan opener Sadiq Mohammad, who is here as a goodwill ambassador for the series, had expressed his disappointment at not being able to see the master bat again in one-dayers.
“It is a great disappointment that I won’t get to see Sachin bat again in One-dayers. I am surprised at his retirement,” Mohammad said on the match-eve.
It is not only the spectators but even team India too is still to come to terms with the “loss” of the talismanic batsman in the shorter format.
“Personally, it’s a very sad thing for me that he would not be there in the ODI dressing room. Certainly a great player has gone from ODIs. I will personally miss him a lot,” dashing India batsman Yuvraj Singh said on the eve of India’s crucial match against Pakistan at the Eden.
However, team India’s triumph over arch rivals Pakistan in Thursday’s marquee clash would surely wash away the disappointment for the capacity crowd which is still learning to live life without the batting maestro.
India are yet to win an ODI against Pakistan at this venue, losing on all three prior occasions.