D/N Test: Hasina, Mamata ring customary Eden bell with Ganguly
Kolkata: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rung the customary Eden bell in the presence of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Bangladesh Cricket Board chief Nazmul Hasan Papon and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar among other dignitaries as the much-awaited first Day-Night Test in India got underway between India and Bangladesh on Friday.
Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque elected to bat in what is the first pink ball Test for the two countries.
Hasina and Mamata met the teams before the national anthem was played by the Army Band in front of a packed house. Union Home Minister Amith Shah, who was supposed to be in attendance, however could not make it.
The historic match was supposed to kickstart with Army paratroopers flying into Eden to hand over a pink ball each to the two captains just before the toss. But due to security reasons, that had to be cancelled at the last moment by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
The other former cricketers present were S. Ramesh, Saba Karim, Sunil Joshi, Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammed Azharuddin, Kris Srikkanth, Farokh Engineer and Chandu Borde.
Athletes from other sports like Abhinav Bindra, P. Gopichand, P.V. Sindhu, Sania Mirza and Mary Kom were alos there.
Naimur Rahman, Mohammed Mahmudul Hasan, Maharab Hossain, Mohammed Hasibul Hussain, Shahriar Hossain Biddut, Kazi Habibul Bashar and Mohammed Akram Khan were the former Bangaldesh cricketers who were present.
The entourage was welcomed to the ground by lusty cheers and a fussilade of flashbulbs as the lensmen went into overdrive capturing every moment as the ladies walked out to meet the two teams.
Hasina and Mamata taken to the lower tier hospitality box as the players took guard with 40 HIV+ kids for the national anthems of both the countries.