Sunil Gavaskar also wants BCCI to honour ISRO chief with Golden Ticket.© AFP
The ICC Cricket World Cup is scheduled to be held from October 5 to November 19 across 10 venues in India. After sharing the hosting rights in 1987, 1996 and 2011, India will solely host the World Cup this time around. Before the tournament kicks off next month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is leaving no stone unturned to give the fans the best possible experience. For this, the BCCI has launched a huge initiative by presenting 'Golden Ticket' to some prominent names. Earlier this week, legendary bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan became the first person to receive the special guest pass.
Few days later, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah also presented a "Golden Ticket to legendary batter Sachin Tendilkar.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who was part of India's first World Cup triumph in 1983, praised BCCI for the initiative, saying that it is a great way to hounour pioneers of their respective fields.
However, Gavaskar also wants BCCI to give Golden Ticket to ISRO chief, S. Somnath, under whom India landed on the moon.
Gavaskar also hoped that BCCI would honour two World Cup-winning captains, Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni, while also naming other prominent athletes of their respective fields who have made the country proud in recent times.
"The decision by BCCI secretary Jay Shah to honour persons who have done yeoman service in their respective fields is a terrific one. As of writing, the one and only Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar have been given a golden ticket to witness the World Cup matches," Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
"It is not known how many others are on the list, but hopefully, the chief of ISRO, under whom India landed on the moon, will be one. Obviously, it can't be given to everybody who has played for India, but if the associations where the matches are being played are instructed to invite the Indian players from their city to the games in that city, it would be a magnificent gesture. Of course, two others who deserve the golden ticket are the two World Cup-winning captains, Kapil Dev and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic and World Athletics Championship gold medallist, is another one who comes to mind for the BCCI golden ticket."
"Whether these people can attend a match or not doesn't matter. It's the thought that will surely be appreciated by the recipients. It's a great initiative that is seen at Wimbledon and the US Open Tennis, where current as well as former champions from other sports are special invitees to witness the tournaments. India has so many sporting heroes, and if they are also recognised with the golden ticket, the image of the BCCI will get really bright. Rohan Bopanna, who, at the age of 43, finished runner-up at the US Open recently, and Sharath (Kamal) who is a super legend in table tennis, are two other names. They may not be able to attend the games, but it's the recognition that matters. Well done, BCCI,!" he added.
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