Mumbai, Oct. 23 -- In India, where cricket is like a religion, Sachin Tendulkar is considered God. So when the Master Blaster announced his retirement from cricket recently, his fans from the film industry wasted no time to begin preparing to attend his final Test Match at Wankhede Stadium (November 14-18) in the city.
Those who cannot make it to that game are trying to attend his penultimate match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata (November 6-10). Known to be a huge fan of Tendulkar, Shahid Kapoor is making sure that he takes a break from promoting his next release, R... Rajkumar, to make it to Wankhede. He is even persuading director Prabhu Dheva to come along.
When contacted, Shahid confirms this news. His spokesperson adds, "He has already spoken to people to arrange the tickets. He wants seats from where he will have the best view." And he's not the only one shifting shooting schedules to accommodate catching the legend in action.
Film-maker Anurag Basu is also wrapping up the shoot of his next directorial to make time for the game. Jagga Jasoos will go on the floors around mid- November. He says, "I will watch either of the last two matches. I am trying to make it to Eden Gardens and enjoy it there. If I miss it by any chance, then I will watch the next one at Wankhede."
There are many other Bollywood celebrities who are excited to catch the match and are making plans for the same. A self-confessed lover of the sport, Varun Dhawan, who even shares his birthday with the cricketing legend, says that he will certainly watch the last Test in the city. "I'll work my movie schedule around as I'm really excited about the game," he says.
Film-makers Imtiaz Ali, Milan Luthria and Sanjay Gupta have blocked their dates for the Mumbai match as well. Sanjay is going to watch Tendulkar play one last time, since most of his friends are in Mumbai and they plan to go as a group.
While Imtiaz is arranging for tickets, Milan says, "It will be overwhelming to bid adieu to my hero." Rahul Bose, too, will be present to cheer Tendulkar on. When contacted, he confirms the news saying, "I will watch (the match) in the stadium (Wankhede)." The superstar of the Bengali film industry, Prosenjit Chatterjee, will not miss the match at Eden Gardens under any circumstances. He says, "If not the entire match, I will surely go to meet and salute the icon." Music composer Anu Malik will also get some live cricket action. "I shall definitely watch him (Tendulkar) play at Wankhede. I want to hear the crowd chant 'Sachin, Sachin' and watch him hit a century one last time," he says.