Former Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) curator Prabir Mukherjee, who worked at the Eden Gardens for two decades and hit the headlines for his no-nonsense approach, passed away at a hospital here on Tuesday night. He was 86 and is survived by his son and grandchildren.
Mukherjee was suffering from a liver problem for the last few months.
Mukherjee, who was involved in the making of the pitch for the 1987 World Cup final at the Eden Gardens, was a man of principles and did not allow anybody to interfere in his work. He was in the news for stopping former England captain-turned-television commentator Michael Atherton from getting close to the pitch and not paying heed to the then Test captain M.S. Dhoni's request to prepare a spinner-friendly track for a Test against England in 2012.
The India-South Africa T20 match in October last year was Mukherjee's final assignment as the curator at the Eden Gardens. The Sourav Ganguly-led CAB had blamed Mukherjee for being unable to make the ground, which did not have enough good quality covers, ready for the match after heavy rains. Following this, the snubbed curator left the Eden Gardens once for all.
According to a family source quoted by PTI, Mukherjee's body was not taken to the CAB as per his last wish.
A former pacer and football goalkeeper at club level, Mukherjee's association with the CAB dated back to late 1970s and early 80s. Gradually he got into the CAB administration, and served as a joint secretary, and pitch preparation. Known for his closeness to former BCCI and CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya, Mukherjee, a former Railway employee, oversaw the ICC Knockout Trophy in Dhaka in 1998.
The BCCI condoled the death of Mukherjee. “CAB's former curator Prabir Mukherjee passes away at 86. RIP Sir,” said BCCI's official twitter handle.