Rohit Sharma stopped from taking a look at Eden Gardens pitch by curator Prabir Mukherjee

Curator Prabir Mukherjee barred Rohit Sharma (above) from going near the strip as only captains and coaches are allowed to take a look as per board rules  © AFP (File Photo)

Kolkata: Nov 4, 2013

Whenever there is an international match at the Eden Gardens, its septuagenarian curator Prabir Mukherjee finds himself in the news for all the wrong reasons and this time it was for denying India’s star batsman Rohit Sharma a chance to have a look at the strip.

As is the practice among international teams, players normally want to have a look at the strip prior to a match but Mukherjee, who has been fussy about not allowing all and sundry to hover around the 22-yard strip, ticked off India’s hero of the ODI series against Australia.

Fresh from his marvellous double ton in the final ODI, Rohit got a hero’s welcome as he entered the stadium but little did he expect that Mukherjee would deny him.

As Rohit came near the pitch that was fenced with a board with the instructions ‘Only Captain and Coach are allowed inside’, Mukherjee barred the Indian batsman from going near the strip. The Mumbai batsman didn’t get into any sort of argument but certainly wasn’t happy with what had happened.

However, Mukherjee acceded to coach Duncan Fletcher‘s request of using the adjacent strips near the pitch for pace bowlers as Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were seen bowling.

Later in the afternoon, Cricket Association of Bengal‘s (CAB) mismanagement led to the cancellation of a scheduled media conference by explosive opener Chris Gayle due to “unavailability of space”.

The West Indies presser was scheduled at 1.45 pm but it was put off as the allotted room was hosting a meeting of the Kolkata Police Commissioner along with fire brigade and CAB officials.

“We’re helpless, we wanted to have it on time but the room upstairs was not available,” the West Indies media manager said.

The CAB wanted to alter the schedule to evening but the Caribbean star was not available then.

“The meeting with police was planned in advance so it was difficult to put it off and we asked the West Indies team to conduct their media conference at 4.30 but Gayle was not available then,” CAB joint secretary Subir Ganguly said.

Incidentally, the meeting that took place at the media conference room, was more to do with security arrangements for the upcoming Chhat Puja and the Kali Puja immersion.