Eden Gardens awaits a fairytale Sachin Tendulkar swansong
Sachin Tendulkar will play his 199th Test match at the Eden Gardens
It has watched him weave magic both with the bat and the ball, and reach one milestone after another. And now the historic Eden Gardens, one of the world's most splendid cricketing venues, has one last wish: to witness one of the games' greatest, Sachin Tendulkar, script a memorable swansong innings.
The stage is set for Tendulkar to take guard in the 22 yards of the hallowed stadium for one last time in the India-West Indies Test beginning November 6. It ends a 22-year colourful association marked by ecstasy, unmatched adulation, controversies, and a few heartbreaks.
From becoming the highest run getter, to surpassing 5,000 and 10,000 Test runs, Eden has seen Tendulkar's mastery with the willow. But the Mumbaikar also lived up to his tag as 'man with the golden arm', by shining with the ball on multiple occasions.
A staggering 1,358 runs - highest by any individual - have come of Tendulkar's blade in 13 ODIs and 12 Test matches at the ground. He cracked half-centuries in his first outings in both forms of the game, helping India win the two matches.
India's first World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev, Tendulkar's teammate in his maiden game at the Eden against Sri Lanka in the 1991 Asia Cup final, hoped for a great knock from the maestro.
"I'm very happy to see his enormous success. I was there when he first played here and hope to see him in action this time from the galleries," said Dev as he plans to come down to the city to watch Tendulkar in action.
Eden had watched in awe when Tendulkar authored a sublime 176 against the West Indies in 2002 that enabled India to earn a draw, while he powered the side to the 1993 Hero Cup Final with his bowling exploits.