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 Nadeem Memon  

Nadeem Memon - The curator of Wankhede stadium

Nadeem Memon - The man and his helpersApart from batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, another important entity who answers by the name of Nadeem Memon, is destined to play a crucial role in the outcome of the first Test between India and Australia. Nadeem is the curator at the Wankhede stadium. He has prepared the wicket for the first Test, which is scheduled to start from February 27 to March 3 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Considering India's inclination towards spin, Nadeem is expected prepare a slow turning wicket that is tailor-made for our cricket team. Nadeem is a ardent lover of cricket and believes that the groundsman ignites the momentum of a match which is eventually overtaken by the contestants on the field. “Before a match begins, generally the captains inspect the pitch to decide on the composition of their teams. Designed with the aim to help the home side, the pitch can be a slow turner or fast and bouncy track. Thus, a groundsman plays a very important role as he can change the fortunes of any team,” said Nadeem.

Nadeem Memon - The curator Born and brought up in Mumbai, Nadeem Memon comes from a middle-class family which thrives on wastepaper business. Initially, his parents did not approve of his preference for sports. They wanted him to complete graduation and join the family business. However, Nadeem was determined to prove his mettle in the field of his choice and hence joined Industrial Development Bank of India to play competitive football. He also played cricket for Islam Gymkhana, Catholic Gymkhana and took active part in the tournaments of the MCA like the Kanga league and Times Shield.

Nadeem is a modest and warmhearted person. His experience as a professional cricketer has helped him to understand the responsibilities of a groundsman. Nadeem had prepared a sporting wicket for one of the Test between India and South Africa which was organised at the Wankhede stadium last year. He also prepared the wicket for the semifinal and the final matches of the Ranji trophy which was staged at the Wankhede stadium in the 2000. In addition to all this, Nadeem has rendered his services in the development of the grounds of Khar Gymkhana, Parsee Gymkhana, Islam Gymkhana, Police Gymkhana, Andheri Sports Club, MIG Cricket Club, Oval Maidan, Cross Maidan, and Azad Maidan.

Nadeem MemonNadeem reckons the great West Indian Clive Lloyd's innings of 242 against India in the 1974 series as the best innings he had ever seen at the Wankhede. Nadeem lamented that the groundsmen are not given their due credit in India. “People do not understand the role of a mali who toils hard to prepare the pitch. There is lot of talk from all quarters about the pitch before a match but once the game is over, the groundsman is almost forgotten.” Indeed, curator Nadeem is resourceful as he has once again laid the canvas on the stage for a great game of cricket and the onus now lies on the two teams - India and Australia, to carry on their good work on the field and enliven the hearts of all the cricket lovers.

By: Wasim Siddiqui

 

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