As Sachin Tendulkar prepares for his final two Tests,Eden Gardens curator Prabir Mukherjee has said he would give the master batsman nothing to complain about when he plays his penultimate game in Kolkata against the West Indies.
I will give him (Tendulkar) a track which he will enjoy. Itll be a good pitch, Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee is known to have a mind of his own and even when the Indian team had requested for a turner against England during the third Test,he provided a firm wicket and also stated that the request for a rank-turner was against the spirit of the game. However,in Tendulkars case Mukherjee seems more accommodating. We all want to see him retire on a high. A full house is expected and I will do my bit to ensure that the fans get their moneys worth, he added.
Anticipating such favours,former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody had a posted a tweet moments after the BCCI confirmed the dates and venues for the Tests and ODIs against the West Indies. It read: No surprise…@sachin_rt 199th Test at Kolkata & 200th at Wankhede. Ground staff will have the mowers out with the heavy roller! #Roads.
Mukherjee,however,dismissed allegations that he would prepare a flat track. Ive been doing this job for 29 years. I will always try to stay true to the game, he said.
And while Tendulkars form had dipped in the last few months,Mukherjee said he wasnt expecting any directive from the BCCI to prepare featherbeds to ensure the batsman went out on a high. I dont think there will be any such request. It amounts to showing disrespect to a great player. Tendulkar himself will never ask for any such leeway, he contended.
Mukherjee supported the BCCI for allotting Tendulkars 200th Test at the Wankhede. Once Sachin said his mother wanted to be present for his farewell Test,it was a given that Mumbai would be the venue for his swansong. The BCCI has done the right thing.
The Eden Gardens pitch that will be used for the Test against West Indies was relaid at the end of last season. And while persistent rain has made Mukherjees job difficult,the curator is confident of having the pitch ready before the Test,which begins on November 6.
This incessant rain has become a hindrance and our preparations are getting badly affected. I need four-five days of unbroken sunshine to have the pitch ready. I hope the Ranji match between Bengal and Baroda (from October 27) could be played on this pitch before the Test match, said Mukherjee.
The Itinerary: 1st Test: Nov 6-10 (Kolkata); 2nd Test: Nov 14-18 (Mumbai); 1st ODI: Nov 21,2013 (Kochi); 2nd ODI: Nov 24 (Vizag); 3rd ODI: Nov 27 (TBA)
* The West Indies will also play a three-day tour game against Uttar Pradesh in Cuttack,Orissa,from October 31 to November 2.