Mumbai: Come Saturday, all roads in Mumbai will lead to the Wankhede for the opening match of the Unacademy Road Safety World Series between the Sachin Tendulkar-led India Legends and Brian Lara-led West Indies Legends.
It will be an emotional moment for Tendulkar who will be playing at Wankhede for the first time since he retired in November 13, 2013. The match also gains significance because it will be played to create awareness towards Road safety which kills one person every four minutes on Indian roads.
Interestingly Tendulkar's last international match was also against the same opponents that his team will be facing on the morrow. This encounter, billed as the "Sachin versus Lara contest" has generated a lot of interest in the build-up and the fans are eagerly waiting to see the Master back in action with his trademark cover drive leading to that chant of "Sachhin Sacchin" rendering in the air.
The Indian team had an extensive practice session at CCI this morning with all players getting together to do what they have been doing best for most part of their life. But with age on the other side India's 2011 World Cup winning team hero Yuvraj Singh said, "The body is tired but we will give our best with whatever is remaining. Quite a few members of the Indian World Cup winning squad is here and it is an excellent feeling to be back with the same group on the field. It will be fun but at the same time it is also serious
cricket out there, which we are playing for a cause. Sachin has been practicing very
hard, our bowling looks good but fielding will be a concern."
Yuvi further added: "Road safety is a very important message that we are trying to convey through this tournament, and I am sure the message will reach each and every one and people will be focused on the road, which they are not most of the time. We think about office, think about family and many other things even while driving whereas we should be focused on driving," said the southpaw.
Though Lara will be leading the West Indies side in this 5-nation T20 tournament it was
the former West Indies skipper Carl Hooper who was leading the show at nets today.
Lara, who showed some brilliance of yore during his stint at the Bush Fire Charity match in Australia recently didn't bat long but was concentrating on fielding whereas Shivnaraine Chanderpaul had a lengthy batting session at the nets facing both spinners and Pacers equally.
Hooper too agreed that age definitely will show, but when on the field, the competitive age is bound to come out.
"It's fun when you play cricket. The body is much older today, sure the competitive age will still come out. We have a sold out crowd tomorrow, should be a good game," said the former Windies skipper.
It is a sell-out crowd and both teams are looking to start the campaign to create awareness towards road safety with a cracker of a contest. (UNI)