New Delhi: Unhappy with the Eden Gardens strip, an angry Railways captain Mahesh Rawat spoke to the match referee Prakash J Bhat and expressed his displeasure about the pitch on offer for their do-or-die Ranji Trophy cricket match against Bengal starting tomorrow in Kolkata.
"During the mandatory captains' meeting today, Mahesh has raised the issue of the pitch. One look at the pitch and you find so many loose cracks. Mahesh told match referee (Bhat) about his reservations. Match referee has said that he would be keeping a close tab on how the pitch behaves. In fact, he has also taken a video recording of the pitch," a member of the Railways team management told PTI today.
"In fact, rival captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla tried to tell Mahesh that the pitch will last four days but he has told the Bengal captain that he is not convinced. In any case, if the pitch plays dangerously, an official complaint will be lodged with the match referee," the source added.
Such has been the condition of the pitch that Railways have decided to drop their in-form pacers Krishnakant Upadhyay and Ranjit Mali. They would be going with four-pronged spin attack led by India international Karn Sharma, two left-arm spinners in Ashish Yadav, Avinash Yadav and off-break bowling all-rounder Arnab Nandi.
Railways have again started playing at their original ground Karnail Singh Stadium, which was banned for two seasons owing to poor pitch conditions, but they have started preparing sporting tracks now.
The two umpires for this match are Ananthpadmanabhan of Kerala and Syed Khalid Aziz Haque of Goa.