A curator's shave against the cuts from PCB

Published: Monday, April 5, 2004, 20:41 [IST]
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Lahore:English curator Andy Atkinson has found a novel way of taking a dig at his detractors who still blame him for 'shaving' the grass at Multan -- he has shaved off his moustache and is blaming it on Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq!

The jocular protest may not cut ice with the cricket establishment and the local media who continued to blame Atkinson for preparing a "grassless" pitch at Multan despite the burly curator's clarification that it was Inzamam who had asked for the grass to be removed.

When asked about his "missing moustache" by a reporter on the eve of the second Test in Lahore, the Englishman replied in jest: "Inzy asked me to shave it off".

Interestingly, even four days after the home team's loss in the Multan Test, the curator was still at the receiving end of local media that has now kicked off a fresh row over Atkinson's chat with Indian cricketers.

Is Atkinson pro-India?" read a headline in local daily 'The Nation' on Monday. The newspaper said Atkinson refused to talk to the media about the nature of Lahore pitch stating that he was banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) but at the same time he was seen speaking freely to Indian cricketers.

The newspaper also reported an interview of Atkinson in which he blamed the decision to shave the grass off Multan pitch on Inzamam.

"Inzy has met me just twice in the series, once when I congratulated him for the Karachi hundred and the second time when he asked me to shave off the grass.

"He can't look me in the eye. He is a coward. Calling Inzamam a coward may be right because his batting line-up fell like house of cards twice at Multan," the newspaper quoted Atkinson as saying.

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