Sight screen woes continue for Sachin
KOLKATA, India, IANS/CMC – The old problem of the sight screen returned to haunt Eden Gardens Saturday as batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar – one short of a historic century of tons in international cricket – objected to its shortened height during practice ahead of the second Test against West Indies starting Monday.
Tendulkar, who did some knocking to throwdowns from fielding coach Trevor Penney on the ground, went to Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) observer for the match Naresh Sharma, and complained about the height of the sight screen, which had been kept at 16 feet.
When Sharma brought the matter to the notice of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials, joint secretary Biswarup Dey and former Indian cricket board joint secretary Goutam Dasgupta rushed to the ground to talk to the star player.
Tendulkar was seen gesticulating as he tried to persuade them to increase the height.
The CAB later said the sight screen would be raised to Tendulkar’s satisfaction.
“We will definitely raise the height. I can’t say by what extent. But whatever we do we will do only after consulting him,” Dey told IANS.
CAB sources, however, said the height would be raised by two feet to 18 feet.
The sight screen was one of the reasons the hallowed ground had lost the prized India-England tie in the World Cup, after an International Cricket Council inspection team decreed it would not be ready in time to host the match.
After spending days insisting that the ground had hosted international matches earlier with even 12-feet high sight screen, the CAB officials finally relented, and increased it to 25 feet. Only then did the ground get the clearance from the ICC and staged three Cup games.
However, this time around the CAB again shortened the height mainly to accommodate more spectators in the Club house stands – earmarked for those holding complimentary passes.
However, Dasgupta ruled out any possibility of a 25-feet sight screen.
“That was too much and that is not needed. We will raise it a bit. And Sachin did not tell us that he had a problem with the sight screen. He said it would be of help to him if it was increased,” Dasgupta told IANS.
In the past, Tendulkar had complained about the height of the Eden Gardens sight screen and wanted it increased.
Several umpires have also in the past expressed their reservations about the sightscreen at the Eden.
West Indies enter the Test 0-1 down after losing the opener in Delhi by five wickets.