Eden Gardens centurions relive their odyssey with ground

Kolkata, Oct 18 (IANS) Deepak Shodhan, the oldest living Indian Test cricketer, and Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the first One-Day International (ODI) centurion for India at the Eden Gardens, Saturday re-lived their odyssey with the iconic ground to mark the celebration of its 150 years.

Shodhan, the first Indian Test centurion on debut, and Srikkanth unveiled a booklet on the Eden and a gold coin to commemorate Eden’s 150 years of existence at a glittering ceremony attended by former Bengal players and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials.

“I am setting foot in this stadium after 62 long years but I still remember the day when coming in at No.8 I scored a century,” said the left-handed batsman, who scored a sparkling 110 against Pakistan Dec 12, 1952.

Shodhan, who turned 87 on the day, described his felicitation by the CAB as the “best birthday gift ever”.

In 1934, Mushtaq Ali had become the first Indian to reach the three figures at the Eden.

Former India captain Srikkanth, who scored the first ODI century of the ground against arch rivals Pakistan Feb 18, 1987, said the experience of playing at the Eden was beyond words.

“There can be nothing like playing at the Eden. When we played against Pakistan in 1987 in front of one lakh people, the atmosphere can only be experienced, it cannot be described,” said the former opener known for his swashbuckling batting.

“People here are so emotional that you need to just perform once and they will remember you forever. I still remember when I had gone shopping to New Market, the shopkeeper gave me 50 percent discount for the century that I had scored,” said Srikkanth.

As part of the 150 years celebrations, the CAB has launched ‘Eden Gardens, Legend & Romance’, a book by former Bengal cricketer Raju Mukherjee and a documentary ‘Eternal Eden’, both chronicling the historic journey of the ground.

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