Eden groundsmen maintain social distancing while working on pitch
Had the coronavirus pandemic not brought the world to a standstill, Eden Gardens pitch curator Sujan Mukherjee would not be idling around on a Sunday morning with his cuppa.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would have already played three home games and Mukherjee would be busy executing instructions of the team management so that the 22-yard strip remains to their liking.
But as it stands with the Indian Premier League (IPL) postponed, all the veteran curator has to do is oversee whether the pitch is being watered regularly and grass kept in check.
“Look I can get this pitch ready in three days. I am ready. I visit the Eden twice every week to see how work is going. Now all we need to do is water the pitch and cut the grass. No rollers as there is no cricket,” Mukherjee told IANS.
“I am ensuring all directives are followed. The groundsmen are wearing masks at all time. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has done a wonderful job in arranging masks for everyone, enough hand sanitiser and food. Everyone is being looked after,” he said.
“As far social distancing is concerned, one groundsman is very far away from the other and anyway during watering, they have to stay far away from one another. I have told them to use one machine while cutting the grass. Also, since I have taken over they don’t spit on the field so that is not an issue,” Mukherjee added.
The Eden strip has drawn plaudits for its sporting nature since it was relaid in 2016.
The top layer of the entire square has been relaid with soil texture undergoing a change to add pace and bounce to the wicket. Asked if prolonged non-activity would cause any damage, Mukherjee said: “That is why I am at it every week. See we don’t need to use rollers now. But it has to be maintained. The grass needs to be cut and watering the pitch is so important. That is why I am confident that I can make it ready in three days’ time.
“Keeping in mind all restrictions of COVID-19, I am trying my best,” he signed off.