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Vote: Tendulkar's 200th Test in Kolkata or Mumbai?

Last updated on: September 06, 2013 15:07 IST

Vote: Tendulkar's 200th Test in Kolkata or Mumbai?

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It’s a feat that’s never been attained. And it will be one unlikely to be repeated!

Yes, Sachin Tendulkar is on the threshold of playing his 200th Test.

Thus far, in a long and prolific international career, spanning 24 years and 198 Test matches, the 40-year-old has stamped his authority with élan, emerging as the highest run-scorer by quite a distance -- 15, 837 runs (@ 53.86).  

He also has a record 51 centuries to his credit. 

The legendary batsman has played the most number of matches. Australians Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh share second place with 168 Tests apiece. Considering the other contemporary batsman with the most Tests, South Africa’s Jacques Kallis (162) is in the twilight of his career, Tendulkar’s 200 Test milestone looks set to become a standalone act. When it does happen, it will be a grand occasion.

For starters, the batsman played his 100th Test away from home -- at The Oval, in London, in September 2002. Thus, it is no surprise that the Board of Control for Cricket in India did everything it could to ensure home fans aren't denied the opportunity to celebrate the milestone moment.

Vote: Tendulkar’s 200th Test in Kolkata or Mumbai?


Image: Sachin Tendulkar


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Vote: Tendulkar's 200th Test in Kolkata or Mumbai?

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As per the Future Tours Programme (FTP), the Master Blaster was supposed to play his landmark game during India's tour of South Africa in November. However, the most powerful board in the sport, where global participation in any case is limited to a handful of countries, gave the International Cricket Council’s FTP a cold shoulder to ensure Tendulkar plays the landmark game in front of the Indian fans.

It didn’t take long to convince the cash-strapped West Indies Cricket Board to accept BCCI’s invitation for an ad hoc two-match series in November, preceding the tour to South Africa.

However, no sooner was the issue settled than another cropped up.  

Where would the all-important second Test, which should see the batting icon attain the milestone, of the series be staged? 

Considering it’s a landmark match it is palpable that any affiliate would be keen playing hosts. 

The Mumbai Cricket Association has employed the emotional card, proposing to host Tendulkar's 200th Test match at the Wankhede stadium, the batsman’s home ground.

Vote: Tendulkar’s 200th Test in Kolkata or Mumbai?


Image: Sachin Tendulkar during the India nets session at the Wankhede Stadium
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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However, Kolkata’s Eden Gardens has also joined the fray. The Cricket Association of Bengal’s logic is simple: if the game takes place in Kolkata more people will have the opportunity to watch it. In other words, a special match like this deserves a bigger turnout.

(For the record, Eden Gardens has a seating capacity of 85, 000-plus vis-à-vis Wankhede’s paltry 28,000).

However, there is a glitch. It doesn’t matter which of the two venues gets the match, it would anyway be an out-of-turn allotment, well against the board's rotation policy.

It is imperative here to mention that Wankhede last hosted a Test as recently as last November - the second match against England - while the following Test of the same series took place at the Eden.

Having said that, tweaking rules to its advantage has never been difficult for the BCCI. Both the associations, therefore, have every reason to be optimistic ahead of the release of the tour itinerary.

If the choice of venue was left to you where would you prefer Tendulkar playing his 200th Test match?

Maybe, you could help the BCCI in its decision by taking the poll below.

Vote: Tendulkar’s 200th Test in Kolkata or Mumbai?


Image: A general view of Eden Gardens
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

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