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Eden curator apologises to Kolkata Knight Riders
April 21, 2008 18:09 IST
Last Updated: April 21, 2008 18:11 IST
Facing criticism for the poor strip in their Indian Premier League match against Deccan Chargers, Eden Gardens curator Kalyan Mitra went to the Kolkata Knight Riders' dressing room and apologised to the players even as there was a move to fly in a pitch consultant from Australia to improve the state of the wicket.
"The curator came to our dressing room after the match and apologised to all of us. He has promised a better wicket for our next match as also the five other games the team will play at the Eden later in the tournament," Australia captain Ricky Ponting [Images], a member of the Knight Riders, disclosed.
After losing Sunday's match, Deccan Chargers skipper V V S Laxman [Images] described the pitch as "shocking for any format of the game".
Echoing Laxman's view, Ponting said, "We are very shocked at the nature of the pitch. Hopefully, we will get a better wicket in the next match."
An annoyed BCCI has asked its pitch and grounds committee chairman Daljit Singh to rush to the Eden and suggest remedies.
Cricket Association of Bengal President Prasun Mukherjee said CAB has agreed to a proposal from Jai Mehta, the co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, that a pitch consultant be brought from Australia to inspect the wicket.
"I told him we have no problems with that. The pitch is being prepared by our local curators under the supervision of Daljit Singh.
"The Australian pitch specialist, Daljit and our curator can jointly inspect the pitch and decide on the remedial measures," Mukherjee said.
Daljit said BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah and IPL cricket committee co-chairman M P Pandove called him up and asked him to proceed to the city.
"I also received a message from IPL cricket committee chairman M A K Pataudi. They have all expressed serious concern over the wicket. I will be inspecting the ground this evening," he said.
Pointing out that the pitch and ground were the responsibility responsilities of the host association, Daljit said, "We have to accept that it was not a track suitable for the game. We have to ensure a better wicket. Eden Gardens is a great ground. We expect better wickets at a venue like this."
The two-paced pitch caused much discomfort to batsmen, who found it hard to play shots and the Twenty20 game was uncharacteristically low-scoring.
The unpredictable nature of the track also foxed the rival skippers, who took blows on their bodies.
While a rising off-cutter from Ishant Sharma left Laxman wringing his hands in pain after being hit, a Chaminda Vaas [Images] delivery jumped suddenly from the good length spot to strike Sourav Ganguly [Images] on the right side of his chest.
The hassled curator, Kalyan Mitra, stayed away from the media, but the CAB stood behind him.
"He will be in charge till the end of his contract in July. We have no plans to replace him," CAB joint-secretary Samar Pal said.
He said an emergency meeting was held with the curators and other members of the pitch committee last night to prepare an improved wicket in the next match.
"We found that the wicket did not behave as it should have as the surface was dry. We are taking the needed steps."