Shastri ‘abuses’ curator at Mumbai match | The Daily Star
10:55 AM, October 27, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:06 AM, October 27, 2015

Pitched battle erupts between Team India director Ravi Shastri & Wankhede curator

-Wankhede Stadium curator Sudhir Naik has lodged an official complaint to MCA against Team India director Ravi Shastri for 'abusing him' during Sunday's fifth ODI

-The incident happened during the innings break when Shastri sarcastically 'complimented' Naik for preparing a "good pitch"

-Naik has also complained about India's bowling coach Bharat Arun, who he claims had no business 'firing' his assistant Ramesh Mahamulkar

-Naik alleged that the Indian team management asked him to water only the 'good length area' of the pitch on the eve of the game

-BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on Monday said that the board will look into the details of the alleged confrontation between Shastri and Naik

Wankhede Stadium curator and former Test opener Sudhir Naik has lodged an official complaint to Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) against Team India director Ravi Shastri for 'abusing him' during Sunday's fifth ODI.

In the fifth ODI, South Africa amassed 438-4 in 50 overs and inflicted a humiliating 214-run defeat on the hosts to clinch the series.

The incident happened during the innings break when Shastri sarcastically 'complimented' Naik for preparing a "good pitch".

Naik has alleged that the former India all-rounder then went on to abuse him, after which the curator immediately complained to ex-India skipper and MCA vice-president Dilip Vengsarkar and the Indian cricket board's (BCCI) game development manager Ratnakar Shetty.

The Indian team management, which wanted a turning track for the deciding game and played three spinners, was allegedly miffed at the flat nature of the track, which saw the Indian bowlers struggle as the three South African batsmen scored centuries.

Naik has also complained about India's bowling coach Bharat Arun, who he claims had no business 'firing' his assistant Ramesh Mahamulkar.

Pointing out that an incident like this would spoil the harmony between the state associations and BCCI, Naik wants the MCA to reprimand both Shastri and Arun.

In his complaint, Naik has said that in the absence of any specific message from the Indian team management in advance, he prepared a batting track for the game.

He has alleged that he got a message about preparing a turning track just two days ahead of the game, which left him with insufficient time to alter the nature of the pitch.

He alleged that the Indian team management then asked him to water only the 'good length area' of the pitch on the eve of the game, something which both he and Dhiraj Parsana (BCCI chief curator for West Zone) didn't agree with since it would have "endangered" the pitch. Naik has alleged that Arun then 'fired' his assistant for not watering the pitch.

When contacted, Shastri told TOI that that all he told Naik was: "Great pitch. Well done," while denying that he abused Naik.

It remains to be seen what action the MCA takes. The controversy is another unwanted controversy for Team India, which is still reeling from the embarrassing loss on home turf.

BCCI to probe fiasco

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on Monday said that the board will look into the details of the alleged confrontation between Shastri and Naik on Sunday at the Wankhede.

Thakur said that 'standard operating procedure' will be followed, just like it was done when Virat Kohli had abused a journalist of a leading national daily in Perth during World Cup, earlier this year.

"We will look into the details of the team director allegedly confronting the Wankhede curator yesterday. We had done the same in Australia. The same yardstick will be applied," Thakur said.

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