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Inside Eden with a stitch in time

When he named his second son after Sachin, Ganesh Ravidas would have never imagined in his wildest dreams that one day he would be handed a chance to get up, close and personal with the legend himself, that too in his farewell series.

cricket Updated: Nov 06, 2013 01:58 IST
Firoz Mirza

When he named his second son after Sachin, Ganesh Ravidas would have never imagined in his wildest dreams that one day he would be handed a chance to get up, close and personal with the legend himself, that too in his farewell series.

For Ravidas (45), a cobbler from Kolkata, to have expected his profession to allow him this opportunity was out of the question.

However, as Tendulkar's swansong nears, Ravidas is living a dream, having got a chance to serve the batsman in his penultimate Test at the Eden Gardens.

"Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials came to my roadside kiosk near the Press Club on Monday and asked me to accompany them," said Ravidas, a native of Bihar who moved to Kolkata around 20 years ago in search of a livelihood.

And Ravidas could not believe his eyes when he came face-to-face with Tendulkar. "I had no idea what was in store. I almost fainted when Tendulkar came out of the dressing room and handed me his kit bag."

While Tendulkar wanted his kit bag to be fixed, pacer Mohammad Shami had issues with the spikes. "Tendulkar asked me to change the zip, I returned his bag today (on Tuesday) after repairing it while I am still working on Shami's shoes," said the cobbler.

Ravidas was on cloud nine after the CAB officials asked him to be present at the stadium through the course of the game. "I submitted my voter ID and two photographs in the afternoon. They have given me a card and asked me to reach the stadium every morning from Wednesday," he said.

Despite being a big cricket fan, Ravidas has never managed to watch a match in the stadium. Luck seems to have finally smiled on the humble man, who will have a favourite story to narrate every time someone brings up the topic of Tendulkar's farewell.