When 'Gandhi' descended at Eden to bless Sachin

Kolkata, Nov 8 : Much to the mirth of all present, a fan dressed as Mahatma Gandhi Friday descended at the Eden Gardens to bless cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is playing his 199th and the penultimate Test of his career here.

The cynosure of all eyes on the third day of the first cricket Test between India and the West Indies here was Rajendra Kumar Rathore, who had come all the way from Ranchi to bless the cricketing genius.

Rathore turned up in the 'Mahatma look' - complete with the trademark spectacles and the stick.

"Sachin was denied the opportunity in the first innings because of an erroneous umpiring decision. So I am wishing that India do not score big and Sharma may not score a double century. That will deny Sachin the opportunity to bat again in the match," said Rathore, a businessman.

His wish that Rohit Sharma does not score a double century came true as India were all out for 453 and finished with a lead of 219 runs.

During the morning session, while the whole of India were cheering Sharma -- who hit a scintillating century on debut -- to continue piling on the runs, Rathore wanted the Indian batting to capitulate, so that cricket legend Tendulkar may get another opportunity to bat and score big in the second innings.

There was heart-break for fans when Tendulkar playing his penultimate match at the Eden Gardens against the visiting West Indies, got out cheaply. But debutant Rohit and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, hit flawless tons to power India to a commanding position -- diminishing, with every run, the need for the team to bat again in Test.

Tendulkar, playing his penultimate match here, was ruled out LBW by umpire Nigel Llong when on 10. TV replays suggested that the ball was going over the stumps.

Rathore decided to don the "Mahatma look" as he wanted to bless the legend on behalf of the whole country for Gandhi is the "Father of the Nation".

Rathore will also be present at the second Test in Mumbai, that will be Tendulkar's 200th and farewell Test.

"My wish is to see Sachin scoring a century. If not at Eden then surely at Wankhede, the blessings of the Father of the Nation are with him," added Rathore sitting at Eden gallery as other spectators cast curious looks at him.

With India taking a sizeable lead of 219 runs in the game, Sachin fans, including Rathore, perhaps will have to wait for the Mumbai match to see their legend script a fairytale swansong.

--IANS (Posted on 08-11-2013)

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