Sachin Tendulkar's face will be on every ticket for the second Test against the West Indies at the 45,000-capacity Wankhede Stadium from November 14-18. This match will be Tendulkar 200th and farewell game. The Master Blaster's photograph will be on either side of the tickets to be released by the Mumbai Cricket Association.
The MCA will also release a booklet that will have Tendulkar's records and photographs mainly from his 24-year international career. To be published by Nagpur-based Gayatri publication, the souvenir will be given free to all ticket holders. The MCA will be giving 500 tickets to Tendulkar to cater to his friends who will converge in Mumbai from all over the world to see the Master Blaster play his final Test match in front of home fans.
MCA president Sharad Pawar clarified in a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday that Tendulkar "did not ask" for any tickets from the association. Media reports had suggested Tendulkar had asked for 500 tickets. Pawar said the MCA will set up a committee to monitor sale and distribution of tickets. The MCA will also take the help of Mumbai Police to stop black marketing of tickets. The committee will also decide on the prices of the tickets, said the MCA president.
Meanwhile, the MCA is set to pay a big tribute to Tendulkar. It will name the MCA ground in Kandivli, after the legendary batsman. The MCA ground in Mahavir Nagar, Kandivli, will be named as the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana. Tendulkar will inaugurate the facility at a function on November 11. Apart from the city's Mayor and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, West Indian and Ranji Trophy players will also be present.
Apart from a 10-minute function on Day 1 of the Test match, a slew of events cutting across political lines have been planned to celebrate Tendulkar's milestone Test. Pawar said: "Sachin is a player and he doesn't belong to any particular party and we should not drag him to politics." Interestingly, the press box at Wankhede is going to be named after Bal Thackrey, the late founder of Shiv Sena. Wankhede has stands dedicated to Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Merchant.