Days after he slammed Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for demanding a rank turner at the Eden Gardens for the Test against England, veteran curator Prabir Mukherjee was Wednesday basking in the adulation from both current and former cricketing greats for the wicket he has prepared for the game.
None other than India's captain cool called him “boss of the Eden”.
“Dhoni came to me just after the toss. He shook hands, and then embraced me. Then he told me: “Dada, maine kabhi apko bura bola hai? Kya main bol sakta hoon? (Have I ever said anything negative about you? Can I say such things?) You are the boss of Eden”. The 83-year-old curator was visibly happy. “Dhoni is a gentleman”, said Mukehrjee.
However, he said at this stage of his life he was unmoved by both praise and criticism.
“If anything goes wrong, nobody will spare me,” he said. Mukherjee said he also got compliments from former England captain Ted Dexter, who watched the opening day's play at the ground.
Dexter, who was taken around the park alongside former Indian skipper Nari Contractor in a golf cart, said he was impressed with the wicket.
“This is your place. Come, sit beside me,” Mukherjee quoted Dexter as telling him. Another former Indian captain-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri also lauded the track.
“It is the best surface of the series so far”.
Mukherjee had criticised Dhoni ahead of the match for demanding a rank turner.