India made their Test cricket debut against England in 1932, and the team have come a long way since then. They have gradually evolved into one of the powerhouses of world cricket, and after 84 years, India are set to feature in their 500th Test match, against New Zealand in Kanpur.
It is a special occasion for everyone – fans, former captains, cricket board – associated with the sport, hence the BCCI has decided to make this Test match a memorable one.
It will be a moment to cherish when the majority of the former captains will sit together, next to one another, to watch the Test match. Former India captains, including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni, have been invited by the BCCI, who will facilitate them for their contribution to India cricket.
Initially, the cricket board had only planned to invite the men's cricket team's former captains, but now even the women's team's skippers will be a part of this historic Test match.
BCCI, with chief Anurag Thakur, is leaving no stone unturned in making this a grand occasion. A specially minted silver coin with '500th Test' printed on it will also be used for the toss when India's Virat Kohli and New Zealand's Kane Williamson play their part at the Green Park Stadium.
The BCCI will also host around 2000 under-privileged school children, who will be present in the stadium for all five days. The BCCI and Uttar Pradesh Cricket Associtaion are also said to have prepared T-shirts with '500th Test' written on it for them.
Over the years, cricket fans have thronged the stadium when India play against any opposition, making the atmosphere brilliant, and more importantly support the team. Cricket is nothing without supporters, and the BCCI have also found a way to involve them for the 500th Test.
They launched an initiative, where fans can pick their 'Dream Team' for India in the official India Cricket Team Facebook page. More than 100,000 fans have already been active on the social networking site, choosing their favourite picks.
The 500th Test match will always be remembered as a huge landmark in India cricket history, but the real icing on the cake will be if the home team can celebrate the occasion with a victory.