Fresh controversy on Thursday broke out over the Eden Gardens track after the BCCI appointed East Zone curator Ashish Bhowmick to prepare the pitch in place of veteran Prabir Mukherjee who is known to have differences with Indian captain M. S. Dhoni.

In a surprise development, the BCCI asked Bhowmick to oversee the preparations of the track which will host the third Test between India and England, sidelining Mukherjee who has been in charge of the historic Eden pitch for decades. Mukherjee acknowledged that he may have to play second fiddle to Bhowmick whom he described as his “boss”. Mukherjee said he was not sidelined but the Board has sent Bhowmick to “help” him out for preparing the track for the third Test. “It’s not that I’ve been removed or sidelined. We will work together to prepare the wicket... ” the 83-year-old, who is associated with Eden since 1985, said.

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee, however, termed Bhowmick’s visit as a “routine” inspection tour and maintained that the 83-year-old Mukherjee has not been replaced.

The BCCI’s move to send Bhowmick to Kolkata ahead of the third Test has raised many eyebrows but senior BCCI official and IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla refused to read too much into the matter and said the decision was taken by the Board’s ground and pitch committee.PTI