2011 World Cup: Master blaster Tendulkar’s farewell Cup stage

Monday, February 14, 2011

DHAKA/LONDON - The 10th World Cup begins on Saturday in Dhaka when Bangladesh takes on India. It should be a cracker, with a full house guaranteed as the underdogs nurture hopes of achieving a second shocking World Cup victory against “Big Brother”, as they did in 2007 in the Caribbean.

It is impossible to exaggerate Asia’s passion for cricket. Crowds will flock. Tickets will be much sought after. There are tales of people in Bangladesh queuing for two days in anticipation of getting that much sought after ticket.

All home games involving India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be sold out. The challenge will be to fill stadiums for the other matches. For those matches, the gates will be thrown open to local schoolchildren.

It should presage a tournament full of vibrancy and madcap bustle, the Telegraph reports.

This World Cup could also be Sachin Tendulkar’s swan song on the one-day international scene. It is his sixth World Cup. He has a record that surely cannot be broken — 17,629 one-day-international runs at 44.97 with a staggering 46 centuries (and a double), as well as a hasty enough strike rate of 86.18.

Attention will stalk his every move, as it will the India team - that is nothing new.

Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan might have his own farewell planned, too, and Sri Lanka are serious contenders along with Australia and South Africa (with England as dark horses).

For all and sundry, this will be Tendulkar’s and India’s tournament, and therefore, a memorable one. (ANI)

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