Get set for pacy, spicy playoffs

Pace bowlers who are set to grace the Eden Gardens for the Indian Premier League Qualifier 1 (May 24) and Eliminator (May 25) could be licking their lips in anticipation as the pitches at the iconic cricket venue will have pace and bounce. “We will maintain our standards as far as the character of Eden Gardens’ tracks are concerned. There has been pace and bounce on our pitches for the last four to five years and consistency will be maintained,” curator Sujan Mukherjee told mid-day on Friday.

This edition of the IPL will go down as the one in which pacers made an impression. Pundits have waxed eloquent on Sunrisers’ Umran Malik and the way he has troubled the batsmen through sheer pace. Mohsin Khan of Lucknow Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals’ Kuldeep Sen too have impressed experts and fans. 

It is not rare for Kolkata to receive pre-monsoon showers this time of the year and the Eden groundstaff have more ammunition to fight that situation this time. The cricket authorities have acquired another cover from London, which would protect the whole ground from rain. “We will cover the ground immediately [when rain strikes] and we will be able to start the game as soon as the downpour ends,” said Mukherjee.

Eden Gardens is expected to be jam-packed on the two days of IPL action and the demand for tickets is huge. It is believed BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has invited a few International Cricket Council officials for the matches. Key BCCI officials will be in attendance too and they will proceed to Ahmedabad for Qualifier 2 (May 27) and the May 29 final.

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