Kolkata: Memories of the 2012's grand felicitation of Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens are set to be re-lived with the West Bengal government and Cricket Association of Bengal having planned a similar programme at the same venue on Tuesday morning.
All the roads tomorrow will lead up to Eden Gardens, KKR's home venue, and the entry will be free for the fans to join the felicitation programme, CAB joint secretary Subir Ganguly said. "Eden Gardens gates will be open from 11.30am to 3.30pm and everybody is welcome to join in the grand victory march tomorrow. We have all plans to make the victory doubly memorable," Ganguly, who is with the KKR team, told PTI from Bangalore.
He further said CAB supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya will call on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat (Nabanna) this afternoon to finalise the programme. The CAB official also said he would land in the city with the triumphant KKR team members and the Trophy at 7pm on Monday.
Team Mamata had come under sharp criticism after showering KKR with gold medals and gold chains in an extravagant felicitation after their maiden IPL triumph in season five, two years ago. It will be interesting to see how the state supremo goes about the felicitation this time around especially when the West Bengal government is under scrutiny in the wake of Saradha chit fund scam.
Earlier, the West Bengal chief minister had congratulated Kolkata Knight Riders and its co-owner Shah Rukh Khan for their second IPL triumph, last night in Bangalore. "Congratulations? KKR; Congratulations Shah Rukh," Mamata posted on her official Facebook page moments after Piyush Chawla hit the winning boundary to seal a three-wicket chase with three balls to spare against Kings XI Punjab in a pulsating IPL-VIII final.
Thousands of KKR fans waving purple-gold flags, and screaming team slogan 'Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re!' poured into the streets of Kolkata while firecrackers lit up the skyline after the Gautam Gambhir-skippered side won their second IPL title, something that had earlier achieved by Chennai Super Kings.
Mamata had earlier conveyed her best wishes to Shah Rukh who is also the brand ambassador of West Bengal as the Bollywood heart throb had called on the CM at her residence after their team sailed into the final with a win over the same KXIP in the first qualifier May 28.
Mamata to attend felicitation of KKR at Eden:
A packed schedule in notwithstanding, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be here to attend the grand felicitation of IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
Banerjee, who has left for Jalpaiguri for review of welfare projects, will return tonight for the KKR programme being jointly organised by the state government and the Cricket Association of Bengal. The state government will also invite Bengal wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha whose 115 not out from 55 deliveries for Kings XI Punjab went in vain after KKR held their nerves to win by three wickets in a pulsating IPL-VII final in Bangalore on Sunday.
"Heartiest congratulations to KKR, everybody played well... I also congratulate Wriddhiman Saha for his brilliant innings. I had already told (team co-owner) Shah Rukh (Khan) to organise a reception for the team after they emerge champions. I also had a word with (CAB chief) Jagmohan Dalmiya regarding tomorrow's reception," she said. "At the same time, I had a few meetings lined-up over next few days but I will return tonight (from North Bengal) to felicitate the side," she added.
After attending the felicitation that will begin at 2pm, Banerjee will leave for Alipurduar to attend a government programme. The state government had felicitated KKR grandly after their maiden IPL triumph in the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League two years ago