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Top curator sidelined by Uttar Pradesh sports body, picked by BCCI for Bangladesh stint

The seasoned Shiv Kumar Yadav, a former pitch curator at Green Park, was shunted out by the Uttar Pradesh Sports Directorate when the cricket board recommended his name to the Bangladesh board.

cricket Updated: Jan 18, 2018 23:39 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Green Park Stadium,BCCI,Board of Control for Cricket in India
Shiv Kumar Yadav has prepared pitch for two dozen international cricket matches.(HT Sports)

One of the top Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pitch curators, Shiv Kumar Yadav may not hold importance to the Uttar Pradesh Sports Directorate headed by sports minister Chetan Chauhan, the former India Test batsman, but his services have been sought by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

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Shiv Kumar, 50, who has prepared the pitch for over 200 matches, including two dozen internationals at Kanpur’s Green Park in the last 15 years, was recently shunted to Ghazipur.

He has now been chosen by the BCCI to prepare lively pitches in Bangladesh.

“I got a call from BCB after BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary recommended my name for the job,” said Yadav. “I’ve submitted my CV to the BCB and a request letter to the UP Sports Directorate to relieve me for two years under the special leave scheme,” he said.

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Shiv Kumar, who started off as an electrician, did certification courses from the Sports Authority of India as well as the BCCI. Last May he was transferred to Ghazipur where no cricket is being played. So, he is doing the electrician’s job.

“It’s really a great moment in my life and I am hopeful of getting the government’s nod for my stint with the Bangladesh Cricket Board,” said Yadav, who topped the BCCI’s certification course examination in 2015.

He refused to disclose what he would do if the government didn’t relieve him. “Let the refusal come, only then I will decide. One thing is sure, I am not going to miss this opportunity at any cost,” said Yadav, who has been BCCI’s consultant curator from the central zone.

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Yadav’s love affair with pitch preparation began at the age of 15, when despite being the team captain and medium-pacer at Bareilly’s Government Inter-College, he prepared the pitch with his bare hands as there was no modern equipment.

Within a year after taking up a job as electrician at the regional office of the UP Sports Directorate in Allahabad in 2001, Yadav was transferred to Kanpur.

He started upgrading his knowledge under the then BCCI pitch and ground committee head Kasturirangan when the New Zealand Turf Centre had initiated a scheme of preparing lively pitches in India.

Soon, his skill of preparing wickets at the Green Park stadium was noticed by cricketing circles. In 2004, he prepared the pitch on his own for the India-South Africa Test.

“I was excited as well as apprehensive on all five days as I would have been blamed in my first mission had something gone wrong,” recalled Yadav.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 23:39 IST