Kolkata: The curator at Eden Gardens, Prabir Mukherjee, has been replaced after refusing to prepare a ‘turning track’ for the third Test between India and England beginning in Kolkata on December 5.
CNN-IBN has learned that Mukherjee, a veteran at the historic venue who has prepared pitches for 14 Tests, and India captain MS Dhoni had differences over the nature of the pitch at Eden Gardens, and that the former was subsequently instructed by the BCCI to stop work on the track.
Mukherjee will be supervised by Ashish Bhowmick of the Tripura Cricket Association, who is also a member of the BCCI's Grounds and Pitches Committee.
India go into the third Test with the series on the line after an embarrassing ten-wicket defeat in Mumbai made it 1-1 with two matches to play. The Wankhede pitch had plenty of turn and bounce but the three Indian spinners were ineffective, while Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann took 19 wickets between them in 121.2 overs. Pragyan Ojha, R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh managed nine in 103.3 overs.
Eden Gardens has a history of controversy. The venue was stripped of hosting 2011 World Cup matches due to a delay in reconstruction and also missed hosting a Test against New Zealand in 2010 for the same reason. It did not host an ODI between February 2007 and December 2009 but even then there were problems. Since Eden Gardens was being renovated for the World Cup in 2011 and had four stands out of service, only half the seats were available for the day-night ODI on December 24 and thus no tickets were sold. The Cricket Association of Bengal decided only to offer available seats to its members and affiliated clubs.