Veteran Eden Gardens curator Prabir Mukherjee is in trouble with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over his outburst in the media prior to the commencement of the ongoing third Test between India and England in Kolkata on December 5.
BCCI Vice-President Niranjan Shah on Friday hit out at Mukherjee for what he called a breach of the Board's "code of conduct" and said the curator cannot escape punishment now.
"Tell me, which other curator in the past has gone and talked to the media like he has done. There is a code of conduct that the Board has established and he should have adhered to it instead of airing his views in the media. He cannot go scot free," Shah, a former secretary of the BCCI, told PTI from Rajkot.
Mukherjee was in the centre of a huge controversy prior to the beginning of the third Test when he termed the demand of India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a turning track at the Eden as "unethical". He even threatened to go on medical leave when the BCCI sent East Zone member of the Board's pitches and grounds committee Ashish Bhowmick to oversee the preparation of the wicket, after 83-year-old Mukherjee refused to toe Dhoni's line.
"It is unethical to tamper with the pitch as per the liking of the captain. I have not done it in my life. Why should I do it now? What happens if the pitch does not last for five days? Let them give me in writing then I will do it," the outspoken Mukherjee had maintained.
Mukherjee's outburst had led BCCI to rush Bhowmick to take charge of the Eden, something that might have hurt the octogenarian. "This is the treatment I get after more than two decades of my service at CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal). It was an insult for me," Mukherjee had told PTI.
"I expected some sort of protection from CAB and thought that they would stand by me. Instead they are after me. My BP shot up 170/100 last night. After the check-up, the doctors have advised me a complete rest for a month. I've sent the medical report and request for a medical leave for a month to the CAB this morning," he had said.
However, he did a U-turn and stayed on the job after he was persuaded by the CAB boss Jagmohan Dalmiya to continue in his post.
"There is no issue at all. We have sorted out the differences. Prabir Mukherjee was the Eden Gardens curator. He will be in-charge of the Test match against England stating on December 5 and the India versus Pakistan ODI on January 3, next year," CAB chief Dalmiya said after his meeting with the veteran curator.
It now remains to be seen whether Mukherjee is asked to prepare the wicket for the high-tension Indo-Pak ODI or given the sack following Shah's comments.