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October 29, 2000
Sunil Gavaskar will be the only cricketer who will be invited by the Bangladesh Cricket Board as a special guest when they host the Indian team for their first ever Test match after attaining official status. This was disclosed by a senior member of the BCB over the phone on Saturday. He also informed that Sourav Ganguly will be felicitated by the BCB for his success in international cricket.
Dhaka, in fact, is preparing to celebrate the country's debut in Test cricket. Various programmes have already been set up to coincide with the Test match that Bangladesh will play against India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium from November 10 to 14. Amongst them will be the felicitation function for Ganguly on the first day of the game. Ganguly will be given a plaque and other gifts. The official also informed that all the Sports Ministers since the time Bangladesh gained independence will be invited for the Test match and they too will be felicitated. Other than that, World Tel, which has acquired the television rights for the game, will be bringing over the former Pakistan captain Imran Khan as their special guest. Past and present captains of the Bangladesh team will also be honoured.
Even though, the Test match will start from November 10, the BCB will start their functions from November 5. There will be discussions on the game, quiz programmes and various other developmental programmes. The official also informed that in all probability, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Test match.
Incidentally, in the 68 years that India have been playing Test cricket, this will be the third occasion when they will be playing the inaugural match against a country. The first time was in 1952, when India played Pakistan at New Delhi and the second was against Zimbabwe at Harare in 1992.