BCCI to felicitate 'Fab Four' in Nagpur

Anil Kumble will be felicitated by the Cricket Board along with Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly on November 6 in Nagpur.

updated: November 03, 2008 11:37 IST
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Anil Kumble, who has announced his retirement from international cricket, will be felicitated by the Cricket Board along with Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly on November 6, the first day of the fourth and final India-Australia Test.

"Kumble will also be honoured along with Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly," BCCI and Vidarbha Cricket Association President Shashank Manohar said at the VCA's newly built state-of- the-art 45,000-capacity stadium at Jamtha on the busy Nagpur-Hyderabad highway.

Manohar, himself overseeing the last-minute preparations at the new stadium located 16 kms from the heart of the city, said that the players would be handed over mementos prepared by the BCCI's headquarters in Mumbai.

On the retirement of Kumble, who has called it quits yesterday at the end of the drawn Test against Australia at Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi, and the forthcoming farewell by former captain Sourav Ganguly, who is to quit after the five-day encounter here, Manohar said replacement for greats was not easy to find.

"Greats are not born everyday, otherwise they are not greats. The onus is on the selectors to find the replacements," he added.

Manohar did not subscribe to the view expressed in some quarters recently that crowds stayed away from the Test series because of lack of proper facilities at Indian venues and pointed out that fans thronged the same venues during the Indian Premier League ties in April-May this year.

"The IPL matches were held at the same venues and attracted big crowds. The matches got over in three hours' time and it was like going to watch a movie," Manohar said.

The BCCI Chief said it was no surprise that crowds don't pack the stands during Test matches unlike in the past when there was no television coverage and matches were few and far in between.

"In those days there would be one Test at a venue in one or two years and there were no television coverage of the matches. The scenario is different now when people can watch international matches almost every day on television," he added.

Manohar said that there were plans to erect floodlights at this new stadium after the end of the Test match.

"We have not gone ahead with the plans because of the Test match. Once it's over four floodlight towers would be erected," he said.

The wicket for the match appeared to be bereft of any grass cover, a total contrast to the grassy surface on which Australia defeated India by a huge margin at the old VCA stadium in the heart of the city four years ago.

According to VCA sources the brick-based newly laid wicket is expected to offer modest bounce and would be slow-paced too.

Meanwhile, VCA officials said that response for the match, which is the deciding tie of the four-Test rubber for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, was lukewarm so far.

"Crowd response is not that encouraging for the season tickets priced at Rs 750, 1000, 6000, 7500 and 10000. We don't sell any daily tickets," said Chief Co-ordinator for the match Sidhir Dabir.

India are leading 1-0 in the rubber, by winning the second Test at Mohali by 320 runs, while the first and third Tests at Bangalore and Delhi were drawn.