Kolkata: Rarely has a cricket Test been so overshadowed by events centred around one man as the India-West Indies game beginning at the Eden Gardens here Wednesday. And rarely has the game's oldest and longest format been played before a full house recently. But then, neither of the two was unexpected once the two-Test engagement got billed as the farewell series of the "god of cricket".
Ever since the Indian cricket board formally announced the matches, the buzz was that it could turn out to be Sachin Tendulkar's final hurrah. His formal announcement last month calling time on his dazzling 24-year Test career after the two Tests has seen the eruption of a volcanic emotion across India, with cricketing authorities, corporates and politicians vying to devise ingenious ways to bid adieu to the genius.
Tendulkar himself chose his Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium home as the venue for his 200th and last match, to be preceded by the one at the Eden - his "second home".