ICC World Cup: India will be tough to beat at Eden, says Leander Paes

Glittering trophy makes a pit stop at the City of Joy with an array of Bengal’s sports stars

Tennis icon Leander Paes   unveils the ICC World Cup trophy with others (Photo: CAB)
Tennis icon Leander Paes unveils the ICC World Cup trophy with others (Photo: CAB)

NH Sports Bureau

The Men in Blue will have a special cheerleader when they play South Africa in their league game of the ICC World Cup at the Eden Gardens – city boy and tennis icon Leander Paes.   

The Davis Cup hero and multiple grand slam winner in doubles, who was a guest of honour when the ICC World Cup trophy tour made a pit stop at Kolkata on Friday, said: ‘’I will be cheering on the Indian team from the front during their campaign. The passion that the Eden crowd brings is really special – and it’s something which will make Rohit Sharma’s men very tough to beat against South Africa.’’ 

The hallowed turf, which is no stranger to hosting the marquee World Cup matches over decades, have been awarded five matches – with one India league game and the second semi-final on November 16. The India-South Africa league game is scheduled in the city on November 5. 

The glittering trophy was unveiled by Paes, Jhulan Goswami, the highest wicket taker in women’s One day Internationals and coach of the women’s Mumbai Indians team, former international cricketer Ashok Dinda, state sports minister Arup Biswas and Snehashis Ganguly, president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) in the presence of an impressive section of sportspersons across disciplines and a large smattering of fans.  

Asked about his emotional connect with cricket and the Eden, Leander remembered his early days: ‘’As a child, I grew up at Park Street and could hear the roar of the crowd at the Eden and crackers being burst. I have watched some of the finest cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Viv Richards and Allan Border.’’

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Published: 09 Sep 2023, 11:31 AM