By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS
Kanpur : Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar may have set a record of sorts with as many as 35 photographs of his appearing in the board’s annual report.
In other words, on every seventh page there is a picture of Pawar, perhaps an unprecedented occurrence in the annual document now in its 78th year.
Pawar seems to have beaten hands down all others, even the ‘joint effort’ of then captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has failed to get better of Pawar.
Dravid’s pictures appear at 13 places, Tendulkar has 11 photos and Shah seven, making it a grand total of 31 – four less than that of Pawar.
Even Pawar’s immediate predecessors Ranbir Singh Mahendra and Jagmohan Dalmiya, who ruled over the board like no one else, never had so many of their photos published in one edition of the annual report.
“The annual reports look more of a personal photo album of Pawar than what it is meant to be,” commented an Uttar Pradesh cricket official.
Non-vegetarian delicacies in times of cricket
Continuing his date with cricket matches played at the Green Park, Abdus Salaam was busy frying chicken in one corner of the stadium Saturday, a day before the third India-Pakistan One-Day International.
The bearded Salaam, who runs a catering business in the city, is serving the television production house, Neo Sports, which has the telecast rights for the ongoing series.
“I have been regularly coming here for the past four years and have attended all matches during this period,” Salaam told IANS.
Apart from Salaam’s stall, many vegetarian stalls are put up for spectators during international matches just behind the stands but within the stadium premises.
Colour blue to welcome Mayawati
The fixed seats in the two-tier Green Park pavilion have been painted blue for Sunday’s match. Dark blue is the colour of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party The few thousands seats were originally red but they have been painted light and dark blue by the government officials to welcome Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Maywati, who will be the chief guest during the match.
However, the entire stadium has not been painted blue as the media hype was built few days ago. The general stands have been painted in dark and light green while the stands opposite the pavilion remain the usual yellow. The gates of the stadium have been painted dark green.
“The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association has no hand in choosing the colour of the pavilion seats. It is obviously the initiative of some enthusiastic sports department officials from the state government,” said an organiser.