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“We have rules and norms to follow so my emotions will not get in the way of my work”
Wankhede stadium curator Sudhir Naik has announced that he will not let himself get caught up in the Sachin Tendulkar fervour, stating that the ‘Little Master’ does not need a pitch tailored to his liking since he “is good enough to do it himself”.
However, Naik is hoping that Tendulkar seals the final chapter of his illustrious 24-year career with a century in front of all his family, friends and die-hard fans in his hometown of Mumbai.
“I will be happy if he gets a hundred because I want that,” Naik told ESPNcricinfo. “I also want the century because he is our boy, Bombay boy. He has done so well all his career, so let people remember him forever ki isne last match main bhi sau banaya(because he made a century in his last match).
“He is good enough to do it himself. He does not need my help. This wicket is good enough for batting so that might automatically help him. It will be an emotional one, definitely, because I have seen him right from his first day in first-class cricket till the day he leaves the game. So not seeing him again will be difficult. But we have rules and norms to follow so my emotions will not get in the way of my work.”
Naik added that he has been under “no pressure” from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to prepare a particular kind of surface.
“I will be under no pressure for any match because my approach is simple,” he said. “I have to prepare something which is good for cricket.
“My approach is I always prepare a sporting wicket. If I am correct, every Test match I have been the curator of has lasted till the fifth day, except the four-day Test against England in December 2012.”
Naik also revealed that preparing the pitch for Tendulkar’s farewell Test was nowhere near as difficult as that of the World Cup final in 2011.
“It was a fresh wicket and people were worried about whether there will be bounce and how it will behave,” Naik said. “This match, not many would be bothered, because the focus and attention will be on Sachin.”