India news February 25, 2014

Gautam Gambhir denies abusing Delhi curator

ESPNcricinfo staff

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.