Legends enthrall Eden crowd

Legends from India and Pakistan enthralled the crowd before their respective national teams took on each other at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday.
Rain had threatened to mar the show but it relented timely to allow the legends from both countries making their presence in the field by wishing their predecessors’ good luck.
Pakistan’s famous ‘Two Ws’ Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis joined their World Cup winning captain Imran Khan with the latter making a rare  appearance in cricket-related programme since he turned out as a politician.
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Huq, who is currently the coach of Afghanistan Cricket team, was also invited for the show, but he had to skip it for his engagement with his charges.
The Pakistani guests were welcomed by film star Amitabh Bachchan, cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Imran in his speech hoped Pakistan would win the game like when he last played a game at the Eden Gardens.
Imran’s Pakistan beat India by 77 runs in a Neheru Cup match in 1989 when he was unbeaten on 47 off 39 balls.
Tendulkar got the loudest cheer from the fans once he began his speech with traditional Bengali greetings ‘kemon acho’.
‘Nice to see the stalwarts from Pakistan, we welcome them here … we hope for a fantastic match, let’s enjoy cricket above all,’ said Tendulkar.
Bachchan, who was being accompanied by his son Avishek, also touched the heart of local fans at start of his speech when he reminded all that he is a son-in-law of the city.
In a rare gesture, the ICC invited Bachchan to sing the national anthem of India before the match while Pakistan’s national anthem was rendered by famous classical singer Shafqat Amanat Ali.
The whole event was championed by none other than Sourav Ganguly, the current president of Cricket Association of Bengal.

source : the new age

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