If Mahendra Singh Dhoni's India made the April 2 World Cup final a night to remember, Wankhede Stadium curator Sudhir Naik played an equally important role in preparing the platform for glory.
However, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) does not think Naik, a former Test cricketer, deserves an extension of his contract, which ended in May 2011.
Naik and his efficient team of curators did a fabulous job of readying the ground in record time (six months) after the stadium underwent massive renovation for the World Cup.
A source confirmed to MiD DAY that while Naik's contract was not extended, his colleagues MS Rao (BKC ground) and Hemu Dalvi (Kandivli ground) was.
"The final was appreciated all over the world, and it was Naik who must be credited for making MCA proud. He provided excellent playing conditions and made it an even contest. Naik was under tremendous pressure to get the ground ready. He fought against all odds and completed the work on time.
"But this is how the MCA treats him. It is just ridiculous. All other MCA curators have got an extension except him," the source added.
It appears as though Naik & Co were deliberately singled out by MCA. "Naik's subordinates Ramesh Mahmunkar and Madhukar Botle's contracts too have not been extended," said the source.
In fact, Naik & Co were recently rewarded by MCA for their laudable work during the World Cup. MCA awarded Rs one lakh to Naik, Rs 50,000 each to the assistant curators and Rs 25,000 each to the 12-man ground staff.
"The work load on Naik and his team was so much that none of them took a day off ever since the renovation started (Sept-Oct 2010) till the Indian Premier League finished in May," said the source.
When contacted, Naik refused to comment.
However, MCA joint secretary Nitin Dalal blamed the previous Sharad Pawar-led committee. "We don't know on what basis the last committee took their decisions. The new committee has just come into power. We are looking at all the issues that are pending and will take this up in the next Managing Committee meeting. I am sure a solution will be worked out soon," he said.