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Eden set for hellish fever

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra will be the star attractions for Kolkata team's first home match. HT reports.
None | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON APR 20, 2008 03:56 AM IST

After the union of cricket and Bollywood in the Indian Premier League, Sunday will witness the presence of high-profile politicians Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra.

Apart from an act by Shah Rukh Khan during the innings break of the Kolkata-Hyderabad match, the siblings from the first family of Indian politics will be the star attractions for the first home match of the team backed by the superstar.

Even without these factors, the match has evoked quite a bit of interest and the tickets made available to the public have been sold out. The Cricket Association of Bengal couldn't confirm whether this would mean a full house because owners Red Chillies Entertainment haven't disclosed how many tickets were given for public sale.

The show by Shah Rukh will cost the organisers some money in the form of amusement tax to be charged by the state government. It will take place on a stage erected in Block J, which means, this section will be closed for spectators. Kolkata Police will also charge a hefty fee for providing security.

But that hasn't deterred the organisers from lining up several entertainment programmes during other match days featuring stars like Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu. On Sunday, Karan Johar, Arjun Rampal and Ritesh Deshmukh will be there to root for Shah Rukh's team. The first two were also there in the inaugural match in Bangalore.

The Eden Gardens on Saturday resembled a puja pandal just before the start of the festivities. There was an overdose of cops as usual along with confusion over the distribution of media passes and a sizeable number of late ticket-seekers.

The prestigious Club House boxes wore a new look with bigger and more comfortable sofas replacing the chairs.

After initial apprehension, this historic venue has woken up to the T20 reality. Time will tell how the spectators respond to it.

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