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    CAB tight-lipped over ticket sales

    Media reports claimed that only 324 tickets were sold till Friday for the India, West Indies match.

    Kolkata: Embarrassed with the poor ticket sales, the Cricket Association of Bengal on Saturday refused to divulge exact numbers of tickets sold, two days before India's second Test match against the West Indies.

    After the media reported that only 98 were sold on day one and 324 till Friday, the hosts association was tight-lipped to give figures after three days' counter sales.

    A CAB official said there were instructions from Jagmohan Dalmiya not to give the figures as it hampered the sale of tickets from the counters.

    "It has an adverse effect to quote the ticket sales figures in media, feels Mr Dalmiya," the official said.

    CAB treasurer Subir Ganguly was not available for a comment.

    But CAB joint-secretary Biswarup Dey hoped that about 30 to 40,000 spectators would fill up the stadium.

    "We can expect a crowd of about 40,000 on day one. It can go up as the day progresses with India batting," Dey said.

    Sachin Tendulkar, eyeing 100th international century, is the man in the spotlight with India leading the three-Test series 1-0 against a weak opposition in the West Indies.

    "This West Indies line-up is devoid of any crowd-pullers.

    Besides, there has been an overdose of cricket of late," said a BPO employee Bijay Dubey, an Indian fan who had turned up to see Tendulkar during practice.

    Incidentally, about a thousand shouting 'Sachin, Sachin' thronged the stadium to have a glimpse of the iconic batsman when the team bus left the stadium.

    But it was a sorry picture in the morning when the West Indies practiced.

    Only a handful of people, mostly journalists, gathered to watch the practice of a low profile West Indies team led by Darren Sammy.

    In fact, at the adjacent Mohun Bagan ground, there were more spectators in numbers to watch the local football heavyweights train in the morning.

    This is Eden's third international match in less than a month, having hosted England in an ODI and a Twenty20.

    Known all-over the world for its crowd frenzy, the Eden showed a similar response during the two England matches as the renovated 64,000 capacity stadium witnessed many empty seats.

    In fact, the stadium recorded its lowest ever turnout involving for an India match when only 27,000 spectators were recorded for the ODI on October 25.

    There is no official word, but CAB is understood to have planned a felicitation for Sachin Tendulkar in the event of his scoring his 100th international century.