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India v Pak: Amitabh Bachchan sings national anthem at Eden Gardens

Last updated on: March 19, 2016 20:22 IST

Amitabh Bachchan

IMAGE: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, right, with Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, left, and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Photograph: ICC/Twitter.

Bollywood mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan, sang the Indian national anthem at the Eden Gardens, in Kolkata, on Saturday, before the start of the high-profile ICC World T20 match between arch rivals India and Pakistan. Amitabh, 72, who is a self confessed cricket fan like millions will be rooting for in India.

The famous Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, who has made a huge impression over the years with his melodies in Bollywood, sang the Pakistani national anthem prior to the India-Pakistan clash.

Amanat Ali had earlier said that it's a huge honour for him to sing the anthem alongside Amitabh Bachchan.

Amitabh Bachchan

IMAGE: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan arrives in Kolkata. Photograph: PTI Photos.

Bachchan Sr arrived in Kolkata with his son Abhishek to watch the pulsating match whereas the talented singer, Ali, arrived in Kolkata on Friday and posted a photo on Twitter saying he will see everybody at the stadium on Saturday.

The scheduled start was 7:30 but there has been a delay as the groundsmen started taking the covers off after the rain stopped around 6:45 pm.

Rain in the morning was followed by a thundershower around 4:30pm, three hours before the highly-anticipated encounter between the two traditional rivals.

Sourav Ganguly

IMAGE: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan with Sourav Ganguly. Photograph: PTI Photos.

Groundsmen were busy with mopping up operations overseen by Cricket Association of Bengal President Sourav Ganguly, a former India captain. Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan was also seen at the ground with Ganguly. The iconic Eden Gardens has a new drainage system now and has also brought high-quality covers from the UK to ensure that rain disruptions don't damage the outfield.

Eden Gardens

IMAGE: Eden Gardens. Photograph: PTI Photos.

As per ICC regulations, the curtailment of overs will start only if 45 minutes are lost to rains and umpires will wait till at least 10:15pm before calling off the game. If the match is washed out completely, both teams will get a point each.

Bachchan had made his commentary debut in the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup game in Adelaide as part of a promotional activity for his upcoming film Shamitabh.