Barring injury nothing will stop VVS Laxman from celebrating his 100th Test in the new stadium at Nagpur, home to Shashank Manohar, president of the BCCI. With Anil Kumble emphatically stating in his column in this newspaper that he was fit and raring to go at the Ferozeshah Kotla, where he has 55 wickets at an average of 15, and Amit Mishra picking up seven wickets on debut, sections of the media began speculating on whether Laxman — the universal scapegoat — could miss out if India decided to play five bowlers.
On cricketing merit there can be no argument for benching Laxman, and Kumble himself came out in strong support of the stylist at the end of the first Test, saying: “Laxman is a true champion. It is sad that he is always in the spot (scrutiny). Laxman has played 97 Tests and has played a large role in our winning moments and this axe on his shoulder is not done...”
It seems the BCCI is in complete agreement, for they have already produced an ornate scroll to celebrate Laxman’s century of Tests.
The Board commissioned ‘The Award Gallery’, a Mumbai-based company, to produce commemorative mementos for Laxman and Ganguly, who will play his last Test in Nagpur.
“For Laxman, we have produced something similar to what the maharajahs used in ancient times to write letters to each other. It’s called a maan patra,” Vibhash Sonawane of ‘The Award Gallery’ told HT. “For Ganguly, we have done something different. It is a solid silver salver with an intricate Kolkata design on the border. Sourav being from Kolkata, we thought it would be something close to his heart.”
Laxman’s scroll, signed by Manohar, congratulates him on completing 100 Tests in the fourth Test against Australia at Nagpur. Ganguly’s salver speaks of how he has given 16 years to Indian cricket, from his first-class debut in 1989-90.
‘The Awards Gallery’ produces trophies and awards for a variety of events, most notably the 55-year-old Filmfare awards and the Addy awards. They recently produced their first major cricket trophy when the Maharashtra government wanted to felicitate the T20 World Cup winning team in Mumbai.