Naik volunteers to oversee Wankhede pitch
Sudhir Naik and MCA may have failed to strike a deal, but the veteran curator is voluntarily overseeing pitch preparation at Wankhede for November 22 Test vs WI
Former Test opener and Mumbai stalwart, Sudhir Naik doesn't need a contract to continue his work at the Wankhede Stadium. Curator Naik and the Mumbai Cricket Association couldn't strike a deal after his work during the World Cup which ended in April. Mumbai cricket pundits reckon he did a fine job alongwith his team.
Naik is voluntarily looking after the ground's preparation for the November 22 Test between India and West Indies.
"Being on the West Zone committee of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), I am travelling most of the time, inspecting pitches. My job is to give recommendations and ensure they are implemented. I don't have to go everyday for inspection.
Wankhede is special
"But I make it a point to visit the Wankhede whenever I am in Mumbai. After all, a Test match will be played here after five years and I don't want to leave any stone unturned," Naik told MiD DAY. The pitch specialist prepared the ground, which was under renovation, in six months' time for the World Cup. It is learnt that the MCA is wooing Naik to rejoin the fold, but the veteran curator is not considering it. "I don't want their offer," he said vehemently. "People (in the MCA) believe I work for money, but that is not true. I don't think they (MCA) respect my work and that is why I don't want to join them again.
''Not for money'
"I come to Wankhede because it is my baby. I don't come here for money. I have told MCA officials that I will look after the pitch without a fee. "I don't want the work we have done (over the years) here to go down the drain because of some petty issues. Test cricket is prestigious and I want to ensure the venue's good image is retained. After all, a lot is at stake in a five-day game," he said. Naik said the November 22 Test will see a typical Wankhede pitch. "There will be turn and bounce. It will be a lively and fair track," he signed off.