Curtains on India's most iconic cricket career will come down with the two-Test series against West Indies, and it seems the whole of India is bracing itself for the occasion, trying to contribute in making Sachin Tendulkar's last chapter a memorable read - and the Eden Gardens curator Prabir Mukherjee is not to be left behind.
The first of the two Tests against West Indies will be played at Kolkata, where Mukherjee has promised a track that Tendulkar will enjoy batting on. "I will give him a track which he will enjoy. It'll be a good pitch," Mukherjee told The Indian Express.
Mukherjee is known for his hard stance, the last of which came during the England series in 2012 when - despite MS Dhoni's request for a turner - he prepared a firm pitch, but in case of Tendulkar, whose 199th Test from November 6-10 will be his last at Eden, Mukherjee is keeping fans' interest first. "We all want to see him retire on a high. A full house is expected and I will do my bit to ensure that the fans get their money's worth," he added.
Mukherjee, though, denied any such request coming from the BCCI, saying it will be a disrespect to the master batsman. "I don't think there will be any such request. It amounts to showing disrespect to a great player. Tendulkar himself will never ask for any such leeway," the curator said.
Though persistent rain hasn't helped Mukherjee prepare the track that was relaid at the end of last season, the curator hopes sun will break through for a few days to give him the time needed to get the track ready for the Nov 6 Test. "This incessant rain has become a hindrance and our preparations are getting badly affected. I need four-five days of unbroken sunshine to have the pitch ready. I hope the Ranji [Trophy] match between Bengal and Baroda [from October 27] could be played on this pitch before the Test match," said Mukherjee.