Prabir Mukherjee (83), the controversial Eden Gardens curator, has said that the Indian team did not give sportsmanship a good name when they did not shake his hand after the Test ended in England’s favour on Sunday.
“Players from both teams shake hands with the curator, but this Indian team did not do so. This great game needs some ethics that are not followed by our very own team.
“The poor gardeners work very hard to prepare the wicket. The Indian team could have come and shaken hands with them,” said Mukherjee.
The veteran curator created a storm before the Test when he refused to toe the line and prepare a rank turner which India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wanted in order to get a 2-1 lead in the series. England ended up winning by seven wickets.
“It was not possible for me to prepare a rank turner. I had promised them a sporting wicket. The match continued till the first hour of the fifth morning. The ball turned and Jimmy Anderson showed how to swing the ball. It’s a pity that we couldn’t do well at our home ground. This tampering of the pitch needs to be stopped.
“I hope they will stop blaming the curators. But I am happy that India avoided an innings defeat,” said Mukherjee, who braved his high blood pressure problem carried on doing his job at the Eden Gardens.
He continued: “I do not know why they (India) were keen to play on a rank turner. They thought that the English team couldn’t match the Indian spinners.
Now they know they cannot underestimate them. I did not want the Test to be finished in three and a half days. That was the Indian team’s demand. Sorry, but I do not agree with the team. If you want the Test to get over in three to four days, then why are you selling tickets for all five days? It can happen once or twice, but our team wanted this to happen in the entire Test series. Our batsmen did not play to their potential because they do not play top-class spin in domestic cricket. We have to improve the stand of domestic cricket. The current players do not want to play Ranji Trophy.
While signing off, Mukherjee put India’s situation in a nutshell: “They committed two mistakes – asking for a rank turner and underestimating the English team.”