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Gautam Gambhir denies abusing Delhi curator

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 25, 2014

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Delhi's Gautam Gambhir and Aakash Chopra take a look at the pitch on the eve of the Ranji Trophy Super League semi-final against Baroda, Indore, January 4, 2008
File photo: Gautam Gambhir (left) has been involved in debate over pitches in Delhi © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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Players/Officials: Gautam Gambhir
Series/Tournaments: Vijay Hazare Trophy
Teams: India

Making a comeback to the Indian side can be harder than getting the first call-up, it is often said. While experiencing it first hand, Gautam Gambhir, who last played for India in January 2013 and is now captaining Delhi, is also repeatedly hitting a wall, Venkat Sundaram, the pitch curator of Feroz Shah Kotla Satdium. It is learnt that on Monday, Gambhir and Sundaram had an argument about the pitch preparation, after which Gambhir released a statement saying that Sundaram's accusations that he used foul language are false. In the statement he acknowledged having disagreements with Sundaram.

This was not a first. During the Ranji season, Gambhir had three of Delhi's four home games moved to Roshanara Club Ground, where the track usually supports fast bowlers, because he knew that the customarily flat Kotla track wouldn't give him outright results. Now that Delhi return to Kotla for the one-dayers, the disagreements continued, and Sundaram is understood to have complained officially to Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).

"I got calls from the media saying that DDCA curator Venkat Sundaram has accused me of using abusive language," Gambhir's statement said. "I can categorically tell you that there is no truth in this. Yes I did meet him on Monday at Feroz Shah Kotla, but there was no heated argument at all. Being the well-wisher of Delhi cricket my only suggestion to Venkat Sundaram was to give us a wicket that suits the Delhi team. Yes we have differences of opinion when it comes to the nature of pitch, but to say that I abused him is a piece of fiction."

Gambhir went on to say that arguing with Sundaram wasn't his priority right now. "Even some time back he accused me in the media of interfering in his job as a curator," he said. "Being the captain of the Delhi team I have enough things to worry about, and Venkat is the last person on my mind. We are the defending champions of Vijay Hazare trophy, and therefore the onus is on us to maintain consistency this year as well. Stories like these are a distraction, and I'd like to stay away from them."

The North Zone matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy will be played in Delhi, starting February 27.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CricketChat on (February 26, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

Don't see any problem if GG asks for pitches favoring home team. It's been done for ages all over the world. Why all this fuss?

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 3:30 GMT)

Home team captain has all the right to ask for a pitch which suits his team. Venkat Sundaram should have supported Gambhir's view. In fact asking for fast track is very good and I appreciate Gambhir on this.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2014, 1:31 GMT)

I cant understand why everyone put Dhoni into the scheme of everything. Very pathetic comment. Thank God you didn't say the curator was from CSK

Posted by class9ryan on (February 26, 2014, 1:23 GMT)

He should be playing on whatever he gets. No doubts he wanted a green top so that he could play on it and if it pays off the selectors will have to consider him because he would had made runs on a tough batting surface. I think its a bit selfish and I wan't him to get his technique back and cut those useless dab shots.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 20:38 GMT)

At Kotla pitch, any sport other than cricket can be least said about the curator is best.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 17:42 GMT)

This is what I like about this guy. Straight as an arrow. Dhobhi should stop supporting his CSK players alone.

Posted by CricketLoversRuleTheWorld on (February 25, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Kotla pitches are really pathetic.. such a historic ground.. BCCI needs to look into this..

Posted by LUCKYBHAI on (February 25, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

we are with gambhir..just play well and get back into Indian team.. all the best !!!

Posted by Naresh28 on (February 25, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

A incident like this highlights Gambhir as captaincy material. After Dhoni, Gambhir is there. If ONLY he would get back to form and work on his shortcomings. This last WC final win had Gambhirs efforts as proof. Fans should desist from mocking him.

Posted by JohnnyRook on (February 25, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

Personally I am not a huge fan for Gambhir and I think he deserved a chop from Indian team. But my respect has gone up for him because of this. Generally a batsman wants an easy pitch. If he happens to be the captain and an opener and out of national team, he tries to get the curator make an easy pitch where he can make an easy century and try to force his way back. Gambhir did exact opposite. He wanted curator make a tough pitch because Delhi needed results even if it hurt his own selection prospect. Delhi people should be proud of their captain.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 10:33 GMT)

The article suggests that GG wanted a pitch for fsst bowling, not the usual flat track at the Kotla..that surdly has to be better for Indian cricket. Perhaps if more captains demanded pitches that were conducive to fast bowling (not suggesting green tops) then Indian cricket overall might benefit in all 3 facets of the game. Too many flat tracks are not helpful in taking our game forward. Why and how has this story ended up in the press? The curator ia not bigger that the teams he prepares pitches for, although if he was indeed abused then I don't think that's acceptable. A bit of maturity and commonsense can go a long way.

Posted by pull_shot on (February 25, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

Even domestic matches pitches r formed according to home captain wishes, is n't this one of d reason for india's overseas owes

Posted by Rajiv007 on (February 25, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

This story is pretty old and was settled but it cropped out again?. Looks like somebody doesn't want him to come-back to the Indian Team. Can you guess that person??

We are with You deserve to be in Indian Team. All the best.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

sack the curator, he seems to be causing trouble for no reason.

Posted by anupamkr on (February 25, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

Why does Gautam Gambhir have to give suggestion to Venkat Sundaram to give him a wicket that suits the Delhi team?? In my opinion skippers/coaches/players should not be asking for a specific type of pitch. A player/captain should back himself and his team to play well on any given pitch and perform well.

Posted by kingkarthik on (February 25, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

Taking the past track record of GG and his confrontational nature, one safely say that he would have heard a very heated argument. It really makes no sense the captain attempts to interfere on the nature of the pitch. It is this attitude which resulted in India's recent abject performance overseas.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:03 GMT)

we are with gambhir..just play well and get back into Indian team.. all the best !!!

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