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‘Courtesy meeting’

Eden Bits & Bytes

The BCCI president Narayanswamy Srinivasan, who was at the Eden on Friday, had a brief meeting with Jagmohan Dalmiya. Though Srinivasan denied discussing anything about the Eden pitch, terming it was more of a courtesy meeting, a senior CAB official said: “Srinivasan was of the opinion that the pitch was good only for the one-dayers. The home advantage, required in Test matches, wasn’t quite there on this track.”

Srinivasan also said he had no knowledge about vice-president Niranjan Shah being quoted as saying that curator Prabir Mukherjee would be disciplined for having spoken to the media and thus breaching the code of conduct. Srinivasan arrived during the morning session of the third day, watched the proceedings and also met ECB chairman Giles Clarke before leaving late in the afternoon.

Lowest turnout

The third day of a Test is usually an interesting day, which carries in itself the hints of which way the match is heading.

But it’s not so if the home team is being subjected to humiliation. So, with England dominating the proceedings on Friday, the turnout at the Eden on Day III was the lowest compared to that of the previous days.

The overall attendance hovered around 20,000, majority of them being from the Queen’s country. On the first and the second days, the figure stood at around the 35,000-mark.
However, with Saturday and Sunday being the last two days of the Test, one may hope to see a fuller Eden.

‘Army’s’ spirit

The sound of the bugle and the rhythm of chants, in typical British manner, have been a constant feature at the India-England Eden Test. There’s no prize for guessing that it’s the famous Barmy Army, backing the Alastair Cooks in their own inimitable way.

But the ‘Army’ which likes to party were upset at times on Friday. First it was the bizarre dismissal of captain Cook, who missed a double hundred by just 10 runs. Then it was the departure of Kevin Pietersen, the entertainer.

However, that hasn’t discouraged them from egging their team on. “The Barmy Army is not just about celebration and having fun at the stands… It’s more about a continuous verve of egging the team on and passing humorous comments to ease the pressure during intense situations,” said London-based pharmacist Robert Stone, who knows a thing or two about the ‘Army’.

What’s in a name?

It’s certainly a novel idea on the part of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to set up golden photo-frames — featuring the list of India captains to have led at the Eden, best batting performances at the venue and so on.

But there’s been a major goof-up in the best bowling performance section. Former Australian all-rounder Ian Harvey had finished with a match-winning spell of four for 21 in a tri-series final versus India, back in November, 2003. Strangely, instead of Harvey, Michael Clarke’s name has been etched on the frame. When queried about the bungle, the CAB passed the buck onto the statistician.

Our Staff Reporters