Curator wants to resign

Calcutta: Eden Gardens' veteran curator Prabir Mukherjee has verbally expressed his desire to resign following the last few days' drama over the pitch preparation.

With barely four days to go for the start of the third India-England Test, from Wednesday, Mukherjee may put in his papers on Saturday. This confirms that his wings had been clipped and he'd been totally marginalised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) recent directive.

Mukherjee paid the price for having bluntly asked for written instructions in case the wicket for the third Test had to be played on a square turner.

In a most unusual move, Ashish Bhowmick, the East Zone's representative on the BCCI's grounds and pitches committee, rushed to the city to 'assist' Mukherjee.

"Following the recent developments, Mukherjee said that he was extremely tired and fed up. He even spoke of his family members urging him to quit not just because of the recent controversies, but also because of his age. Mukherjee is now 83.

"Still, we'll talk to him on Saturday morning and request him to continue till this Test," a senior CAB official said.

Mukherjee, it may be recalled, stunned the BCCI and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni by asking for a written communication if Team India wanted a turner for the third Test against England at the Eden Gardens.

"I have already started preparation for the pitch for the third Test. To me, a good Test match pitch means a hard turf with a tinge of green. If the team management wants a turning track, it has to come from the Board in writing," Mukherjee was quoted as saying.

Mukherjee had also slammed Dhoni. "It's most unethical if the India captain makes such statements in public... He's passing such comments every now and then, which is really unfortunate," Mukherjee said, while referring to Dhoni's comment that he expected a Wankhede-like pitch at the Eden.

The Team India captain, who has been demanding a turner from Day I to minimise the effects of the toss, stuck to his stand even after the series was tied 1-1 in Mumbai.

Though Mukherjee publicly denied that his powers had been curtailed, Bhowmick's arrival did cause a flutter. The CAB, too, couldn't put its foot down and back Mukherjee.

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