The gloves which Sachin Tendulkar wore while scoring his 100th hundred, a boot owned by Lionel Messi, a Chelsea shirt of the 2012 Champions League winning team member Didier Drogba, a chess board signed by Viswanathan Anand, Pele’s 1970 Brazil shirt are some of the reference points for sports nuts at the Fanatic Sports Museum, India’s first multi-sports museum.
The museum, spread over 6700 square feet, was inaugurated by Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Abhinav Bindra, Deepa Malik and Devendra Jhajaria here on Sunday. Shirts won by Malik and Jhajaria at the Rio Olympics on way to podium finishes are on view.
“Seeing Paralympic sport at par with efforts of able-bodied sports persons is a big boost,” said Malik.
It will be open from Monday at Ecospace in New Town, Rajarhat, 25 km from Kolkata’s city centre. Tickets will be priced at Rs 100 with a 50% concession for students. Entry is gratis for state-level sportspersons, said Boria Mazumdar, sports historian, whose collection most of the memorabilia on show is.
“I think we Indians are not active enough. We need to engage in sporting activity. Looking at various things of great sports personalities can serve as inspiration to young ones. This is not just for Kolkata, it is for India,” said Tendulkar.
Books written by KS Ranjitsinhji such as ‘The Jubilee Book of Cricket’, an anthology on cricket in India in 1933 by PN Polishwalla and priced R3, a souvenir marking Mohammedan Sporting’s five Calcutta League titles from 1934-38 vie for attention with Usain Bolt’s running shoes and the Truttmann gloves worn by Bindra as he took gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As does a letter written on October 10, 1978 and signed by Don Bradman with caps of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Also on display is a racquet used by Pullela Gopichand to train Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu in Rio, said Mazumdar.
There is a letter written by Syed Mushtaq Ali to CK Nayudu dated August 1, 1946 complaining about Iftekhar Ali Khan Pataudi. There are tickets of Olympics where India won gold in men’s hockey barring 1928 as well as first day covers of football World Cups not far from a souvenir signed by Kapil’s Devils on the 25th anniversary of the 1983 World Cup win.
A copy of the vinyl released from a Lata Manageshkar concert used to raise money to reward the World Cup winners too is on display.
Mazumdar said the museum has agreed to an exchange programme with Britain’s National Football Museum in England. A deal with the museum at the International Olympic Committee, on which this is modelled, is on the cards, said Mazumdar.
“It looks and feels like the Olympics museum. This is a great initiative towards promoting the culture of sport,” said Bindra.