Caught between the ego of a ‘high-handed’ curator and the need to show that all’s well with the venue of the World Twenty20 final, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is yet to take any step towards dousing concerns after the third T20 internation between India and South Africa was abandoned due to a damp outfield on Thursday.
Most CAB officials have openly slammed curator Prabir Mukherjee’s decision to not cover the outfield despite threat of rain. “Of late he has been very high handed and considered himself above the institution. That is not on. This incident should have never happened,” said a senior CAB official.
Mukherjee, however, is adamant he did his job by the book. “Nowhere is it written that the outfield has to be covered. Only the pitch, the bowlers’ run-up and the close-in areas are covered. Even Ravi Shastri agreed with me. And to be honest no one was there to help me. The people I had weren’t enough,” Mukherjee told HT over phone on Friday.
Even Harbhajan Singh said there was little the ground staff could have done. “There was heavy rain yesterday. Nobody could have done anything. The ground was wet and unfit for play,” he said before leaving the city. Interestingly, a few South Africans, including Dale Steyn and Albie Morkel, had a full-fledged bowling session at the Eden on Friday morning.
A senior CAB official felt Thursday’s embarrassment was due to the collective failure of the association but there is a growing consensus that Mukherjee must be replaced. Former joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee’s name has cropped up as a possible successor.
However the 84-year old curator said he has had enough and doesn’t want to return to Eden Gardens. “My contract has expired in July. Nobody discussed that with me. I never worked for money. But yes I have told them (CAB officials) that I’m not coming back to Eden,” said Mukherjee.