Kolkata, Nov 28 (UNI) People of Kolkata has given a huge thumbs-down to the terror threat during the India-Pakistan test commencing on November 30 by turning out in thousands for tickets.
The Eden Gardens looked under siege not because of the overpowering presence of the security forces, but because of the common man queuing outside the amphitheatre like stadium to make sure they can see their favourite son of the soil Sourav Ganguly break the Eden jinx and score a ton or Sachin Tendulkar smash past another world record.
For some, the venue is a reminder of the mesmeric partnership between Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman that forced mighty Australia eat a humble pie here.
Kaushik Das, a management student, said, ''What e-mail, we are coming. And we are coming in thousands. They will be cowed down by our sheer strength.'' Suman Dan, a young office-goer, said, ''There is no question of missing dada score a ton here. Its long over due and we are sure he will do it this time. Then there is Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid) and (V V S) Laxman. What a line-up! How can anyone miss it.'' Even state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty is pondering whether he will go to the stadium this time. ''The last few times I could not go because of my prior commitments, but this time I hear there is this threat. So I must go and watch the match, not only for the love of the game but to show them that we don't care.'' Gate no 6 of Eden Gardens that opens bang opposite the state legislative assembly saw a serpentine queue as people waited patiently for hours to get their share of the match.
One Anamika Bose said, ''This is the last time we may see the big three playing a test match here together. I cant miss this opportunity. Besides, there is a sizable fan of Shoaib Malik and Shoaib Akhtar too.'' Kolkata was sent into a tizzy after an e-mail that landed at a private TV-channel office on Saturday threatened to trigger blasts in several places including the metro if the India-Pakistan match was played.
The state government immediately swung into action and unprecedented security measures have been taken at the venue, the routes to be used by the two teams and the team hotel for the safety of the home and visiting team.
India-Pakistan play the second of the three-match Test series here. India are up 1-0 defeating the visitors at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi by six wickets.