An entire nation worships him as the god of cricket but only 4000 genuine fans will get to watch Sachin Tendulkar play his final Test match at Wankhede, against West Indies. Fear of black marketing and ticket hoarding has resulted in Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) allotting only a small number of tickets to the general public.
While Wankhede Stadium - venue for the November 14-18 Test - has a capacity of 33,500 spectators, the MCA has announced that only 4000 tickets will be available for fans in general apart from another 1500 special seats, each for Rs 10,000. "This is not in my hands. The tickets that we have get distributed. But I can't control the way you use the ticket. We shall definitely ask the Mumbai police to be alert," said MCA president Sharad Pawar.
Restricting general tickets is being seen as a measure to ensure that ticket mafia does not dent an otherwise memorable occasion marking the end of a 24-year journey for Sachin.
Tickets however have been reserved for family of the legendary batsman. Sachin's mother and his first coach - Ramakant Achrekar - are expected to be present at the venue to watch him play. "He has not asked for a single ticket but our committee has decided to give him 500 tickets," said Pawar.
The first Test of the series - Sachin's 199th - will be played at the Eden Gardens from November 6 before the action shifts to the veteran batsman's home turf.