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Updated: June 6, 2013 00:49 IST

The Uppal pitch will miss his expert touch

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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HCA groundstaff member Yadgiri (extreme right) was illiterate but adept in the preparation of the pitch under curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar, passed away in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
HCA groundstaff member Yadgiri (extreme right) was illiterate but adept in the preparation of the pitch under curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar, passed away in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Key member of the ground staff at Uppal Stadium, Yadagiri (42), succumbed to injuries sustained in a road accident

The ground staff team at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium (Uppal) will not be the same again from the coming season with the demise of Yadgiri, one of the most affable and highly knowledgeable, despite being an illiterate, in the art of pitch preparation

Yadgiri (42), who met with a serious road accident while riding his bike near Shamirpet last week, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday while undergoing treatment for serious injuries.

All the regulars at the Uppal stadium will never forget his ever-smiling face, greeting everyone with the same warmth. Even Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was engaged in a long chat with Yadgiri before the last Test match here against Australia.

“That was a great moment,” Yadgiri had said then proudly even as he posed for a picture in front of the giant scoreboard after India drubbed Aussies in that Test.

Yadgiri was a favourite of the media too for he was one they would call up to know whether or not the match would start on time whenever it rained.

Passionate about his job, Yadgiri moved over from ECIL Ground (where he picked up the nuances of pitch preparation from Hyderabad’s senior-most curator T. Gopala Rao) to Uppal ever since competitive cricket became a regular feature there.

It was understandable when HCA curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar got emotional referring to Yadgiri’s demise, for the latter was his most trusted man in pitch preparation.

“He was like my right hand. I can’t imagine my job without him now,” the curator said.

Yadgiri also had it in him to explain to the big names including Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri about how the pitch would play.

For its part, the HCA top brass headed by joint secretary S. Venkateshwaran was quick to provide financial assistance to the bereaved family members including wife, three daughters and a son. “We will really miss him,” the HCA official remarked.

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