Kiwis in India - Ganguly, Boycott, Shastri add glamour to Puja

Published: Thursday, September 25, 2003, 2:38 [IST]
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Kolkata: Adding a dash of cricketing glamour to the Durga Puja festivities, Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and former stars of the game Geoff Boycott and Ravi Shastri on Thursday graced a puja pandal in the metropolis turning up in traditional Bengali attires.

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The trio, attending a recording of ESPN's programme 'Cricket Show' with an ostentatious Durga Puja pandal as its backdrop, had an informal chat with compere Harsha Bhogle on the ongoing India-New Zealand series and the problem of sledging, before obliging fans with a public appearance andloads of autographs.

Sporting a blue check kurta and a traditional red tilak on his forehead, the former England opener and a legend of the gentleman's game looked every bit a 'bhadralok', the Bengali version of a typical gentleman.

For the hundreds of puja revellers who spent over two hours to catch a glimpse of the stars, the appearance was much a surprise as the morning showers, which many of them braved to be anywhere near the Barisha Players' Corner pandal, a stone's throw away from Ganguly's Behala residence in the South-Western outskirts of the city.

Barricaded on both sides, the 'pandal of the day' on Biren Roy Road saw the stars poised in front of the camera while the priests chanted hymns to invoke the goddess and the smell of incense sticks wafted in background.

But as is inevitable in any celebrity outing, the tailpiece was police high-handedness on journalists invited to cover the function and the regular jostling, pushing and shoving of over-enthusiastic fans trying to jump the cordon.PTI

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