Cricket - India v West Indies

Sachin Tendulkar was on Monday reported to be "upset" by the fanfare that has begun and shows no sign of dissipating ahead of his 199th and penultimate Test match for India.

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Cricket - Tendulkar bids farewell with tears and cheers
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Sachin Tendulkar played his 200th and final test for India against West Indies (PA)

If Tendulkar expected his farewell Test in Mumbai next week to be the occasion at which he would be most openly feted, the manner of his reception in Kolkata may have indeed been unsettling to the 'Master Blaster'.

The local Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has pulled out every stop to ensure Kolkata's goodbye to India's greatest batsman is as lavish and loud, in every sense, as that which awaits Tendulkar on the occasion of his 200th Test.

Hundreds of supporters met Tendulkar at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport on Sunday evening, and at first practice ahead of the match against the West Indies he was showered with confetti and flower petals on arriving at Eden Gardens.

A wax statue stands at the ground in his honour, he has already received a bouquet of 199 roses, and when captains MS Dhoni and Darren Sammy flip a coin at the start of the match on Wednesday morning it will bear Tendulkar's image on one side. He will also be presented with a silver banyan tree and various other gifts during the course of the five-day match.

Thousands of spectators will be handed Tendulkar face masks, with the 40-year-old needing to mentally prepare for the distopian prospect of seeing himself everywhere he looks once he strides out to bat.

However amid the pageantry is the suggestion the man at its centre would prefer everyone takes a step back.

"I too heard that Tendulkar was upset with the confetti burst and other things. He also cancelled his visit to a photo exhibition at the Bhowanipore Tent," senior joint secretary Sujan Mukherjee told the Press Trust of India.

Others reported different views, but Tendulkar presumably did not need to see any more images of himself, given they already feature prominently at Eden Gardens, even on the match tickets.

He at least found nearly an hour of peace in the nets on Monday.

Tendulkar is bowing out this month after a Test career he began in Karachi when - as a 16-year-old - he played against Pakistan in November 1989, making 15 runs in his only bat and taking cumulative bowling figures of nought for 25.

The Indian public will be baying for at least one more big innings from the national hero, although hundreds have dried up for Tendulkar in recent times, his last in Tests coming as long ago as January 2011.

Coach Duncan Fletcher will attempt to sidestep the acclaim festooned on the India team's former leader as he prepares the home side for the match, insisting the Test cannot be a sideshow.

Batsman Virat Kohli, who turns 25 on Tuesday, has described Tendulkar as "my inspiration" and vowed India will be pushing to send him out on a victorious note.

"Yes, there will be extra effort for sure," Kohli said on the Board of Control for Cricket in India's website.

"Giving him a perfect farewell would be the aim for all of us. You will definitely see us putting in a bit more extra effort to pull those two games off. That will be our aim."

There is a Yorkshire connection in the match, with Richie Richardson the West Indies operations manager.

While Tendulkar became in 1992 the first overseas star to play for Yorkshire, Richardson followed him to Headingley the next year.

Former West Indies captain Richardson is hoping the tourists can spoil India's party, but he acknowledges the stature of the man at the centre of all the commotion.

"It is difficult to express in words Tendulkar's contribution to cricket and humanity. What I like most about him is he is humble despite his achievements, and always smiling," Richardson said, according to the Times of India.

"He is a great human being. You do often find somebody who is great at sports, but maybe he is not equally great as a person. But Sachin is blessed to be both. People admire him forever.

"But at the same time we are here to play, to compete and to win.

"India are playing very well at the moment. They have some very good players, and they will come hard at us. We will have to work hard, but we will be pretty competitive."

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