The Sachin Tendulkar suite
Where will Tendulkar stay?
The Ranji Trophy season starts on Sunday, and the biggest match, it would seem, is the one between hosts Haryana, who won one game out of eight last season, and title holders Mumbai in Lahli. Mail Today reports that the Rivoli Hotel, where the Mumbai team will stay, has changed the name of its best suite (tariff Rs 3600) to the Sachin Tendulkar suite, now decorated with new furniture, curtains and wallpaper.
But it's not yet clear whether Tendulkar will stay at the hotel with the rest of his team-mates or at the state government guest house in Rohtak. "We are told that the local administration is trying to decide which is the best place to stay for Sachin ji as he's a member of Parliament, besides being a great player," Ashok Bhambri, the managing director of the hotel, told the paper.
However, the hotel is going ahead with its preparations nonetheless, and has hired four specialist chefs to cater to the team. "We know Tendulkar loves seafood, so we have made arrangements to get fish and prawns from New Delhi," Gurkamal Sodhi, Rivoli's general manager told Daily News & Analysis. "We really hope he dines here. I heard the players will have their breakfast and lunch at the stadium itself."
Lahli pitch report
And what about the match pitch? "While I can't tell you anything about how the pitch will behave, we would like Sachin to stay on it as long as possible," Jasmer Singh, the pitch curator, told the Mint, where you can also look at photographs of Lahli's preparations for the match.
Sleepless in Singapore
In the Times of India, former India bowler Prashant Vaidya remembers the sleepless night Tendulkar endured before a match against Pakistan because of him. India were playing the Singer Cup in Singapore in April 1996, and it was the first time the players had individual rooms to themselves. However, Tendulkar asked Vaidya, who wasn't in the playing XI, to room with him for the night. "Next morning I asked him whether he had slept well and he answered in negative," Vaidya recalled. "I asked him 'Kai jhala? [What happened?']. He said that I was snoring non-stop. It left me terrified and embarrassed as we were playing our arch-rivals Pakistan and I had deprived India's star batsman of a good night's sleep. To my luck, Sachin scored a hundred in the game and I was the most relieved man."