POST TIME: 21 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Bangladesh-India 2nd Test tomorrow
Stepping into pink ball era
Hasina, Mamata to ring pink ball Test bell
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Stepping into pink ball era

Bangladesh’s Mahmudullah (C) uses a pink ball during a practice session at The Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata yesterday, ahead of their second Test with India beginning tomorrow. AFP photo

Bangladesh and India are going to step into a new chapter of Test cricket that spreads out excitement and enthusiasm amongst the fans of both teams at home and abroad. The match, which is a tour-ending affair, will start with pink ball held under the floodlights at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata of the neighbouring country on Friday.

Centring over the pink-ball Test match, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its West Bengal wing - Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) jointly chalked out some measures to make it a memorable and glamorous one. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have invited Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to ring the ceremonial bell of the historic Test between Bangladesh and India at the Eden Gardens.

The BCCI and the CAB also invited some legendary sports personalities and dignitaries of India. Even the players of Bangladesh’s inaugural Test match against India, which was held on November 10 in 2000 at Bangabandhu National Stadium, were also invited by the BCCI.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan Papon is scheduled to fly to Kolkata along with three former captains Akram Khan, Naimur Rahman Durjoy and Minhajul Abedin Nannu. Khaled Mahmud Sujon is all set to fly also, but he will travel today (Thursday).

Asked about their departure for Kolkata, Naimur Rahman Durjoy said they are three in number going to Kolkata with the board president and the rest of the players of the historic match sans two — Aminul Islam Bulbul and Al Shariar Rokon. “I’m going to Kolkata today (Wednesday). Akram bhai is also going. Rest of the invited players will fly tomorrow (Thursday),” Naimur Rahman said.

“Unfortunately, we will miss two of our teammates. Aminul Islam Bulbul said he’s not available and it’s tough for Al Shariar Rokon to come from New Zealand. He needed some more time to process his visa. So, we’re missing both of them,” Durjoy told media at the national cricket academy of Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. Moreover, he added, “the remaining players of the inaugural Test will reach Kolkata by Thursday.”

When asked about the programme at Eden Gardens, Durjoy said they are yet to get the full schedule of the programme. But, he said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is all set to fly on first day of the Test to ring the ceremonial bell of the match at Eden Gardens along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“We didn’t get the schedule of the programme as of now,” he said.

“Our Prime Minister will fly on November 22. She along with the  West Bengal chief minister will ring the bell of the pink-ball Test at Eden Gardens. Some cultural programme might also be held during the break,” he informed.

“There is another programme of a charity match scheduled. I’m saying whatever I know about it as of now. Actually, I don’t know about the programme in details,” he added. Meanwhile, BCB provided blazer and tracksuit for the players of the inaugural Test. Along with that, the Board will bring souvenirs and other gifts to give to the dignitaries of the programme.

It is learnt that the BCCI will bear the expense of the invited guests of Bangladesh for three days (21, 22 and 23) covering air tickets, accommodation, local transport and victuals.

Meanwhile, they already sent air tickets as per the requisition of the BCB.