Eden Gardens curator hints at retirement following row involving MS Dhoni

Veteran curator at the Eden Gardens, Prabir Mukherjee will aid curator Ashish Bhowmick, who was called in to prepare the pitch for the third Test match at the request of the BCCI following Mukherjee’s refusal to prepare rank turner, demanded by the Indian captain MS Dhoni Getty Images

Kolkata: Nov 28, 2012

Veteran curator at the Eden Gardens, Prabir Mukherjee, who has prepared pitches for 14 Test matches in the past hinted at hanging up his boots soon after a row involving the Indian captain MS Dhoni.

“My family has been pressurising me to quit while my doctors too have advised the same,” said Mukherjee.

Mukherjee was under pressure to prepare turning track for the forthcoming Test match at Kolkata against England. The Indian captain earlier had publicly demanded for a turning track following India’s defeat at Mumbai in the second Test match.

However, the curator refused to accept Dhoni’s demand which resulted in BCCI asking the CAB to change the curator for the third Test.

The curator added that he will not have much of a say in the preparation of the pitch for the third India-England Test, beginning Dec 5, with the East Zone curator Ashish Bhowmick being brought in to oversee the ground.

“He (Bhowmick) is my boss as he would be overseeing my work here,” is how a dejected Mukherjee described his relation with the East Zone curator who reached the city Wednesday and would be participating in the pitch preparation Thursday onwards.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), however, insists that the move to appoint Bhowmick was a routine affair.

“Mukherjee’s position hasn’t changed a bit. Bhowmick is from our zone and it’s almost customary for him to drop in before a Test match to discuss wicket-related issues with Mukherjee. Because India lost badly in Mumbai, people are trying to make issue out of something very ordinary,” CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya said.

After India suffered a humiliating 10-wicket loss to England on a spinning track in the Mumbai Test, Dhoni had insisted for a similar rank turner for the Eden Garden Test as well.

The demand prompted Mukherjee to ask for a written instruction from the BCCI and described Dhoni’s demand as “unethical”.

Though Mukherjee refused to judge the nature of the Eden pitch for the upcoming Test, CAB joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee said the wicket will be prepared keeping “home advantage” in mind.

The four-Test series between India and England is tied 1-1.