Superstar Rajinikanth will ‘grace’ next month’s ICC World Cup as a “distinguished guest,” the BCCI said on Tuesday, while extending him the Golden Ticket that allows unhindered access during the multi-country tournament. BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay Shah presented the Golden Ticket to the top star, BCCI said on its X handle, sharing a photo of the two.

“The Phenomenon Beyond Cinema! The BCCI Honorary Secretary @JayShah presented the golden ticket to Shri @rajinikanth, the true embodiment of charisma and cinematic brilliance. The legendary actor has left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions, transcending language and culture,” it said.

“We are thrilled to announce that Thalaiva will grace the @ICC @cricketworldcup 2023 as our distinguished guest and will light up the biggest cricketing spectacle with his presence. #GoldenTicket,” BCCI added.

The marquee tournament will kick off in Ahmedabad on October 5, with the 2019 edition finalists-England and New Zealand- facing off in the inaugural tie.


The golden tickets are a promotional strategy used by the BCCI for the showpiece event it is hosting, with the recipients granted VIP treatment during World Cup matches.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who was part of India’s first World Cup triumph in 1983, praised BCCI for the initiative, saying that it is a great way to hounour pioneers of their respective fields.

However, Gavaskar also wants BCCI to give Golden Ticket to ISRO chief, S. Somnath, under whom India landed on the moon.

Gavaskar also hoped that BCCI would honour two World Cup-winning captains, Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni, while also naming other prominent athletes of their respective fields who have made the country proud in recent times.

“The decision by BCCI secretary Jay Shah to honour persons who have done yeoman service in their respective fields is a terrific one. As of writing, the one and only Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar have been given a golden ticket to witness the World Cup matches,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.

“It is not known how many others are on the list, but hopefully, the chief of ISRO, under whom India landed on the moon, will be one. Obviously, it can’t be given to everybody who has played for India, but if the associations where the matches are being played are instructed to invite the Indian players from their city to the games in that city, it would be a magnificent gesture. Of course, two others who deserve the golden ticket are the two World Cup-winning captains, Kapil Dev and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic and World Athletics Championship gold medallist, is another one who comes to mind for the BCCI golden ticket.”

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