Dubai: Cricket fraternity in Abu Dhabi mourned the sudden loss of Mohan Singh, Head Curator of Abu Dhabi Cricket, a few hours before the Super-12 game of ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE capital on Sunday.
The match between New Zealand and Afghanistan went ahead as scheduled with the support of Mohan’s family and Abu Dhabi Cricket’s ground staff, as the 45-year-old’s death was condoled by International Cricket Council (ICC), Abu Dhabi Cricket and the game’s fraternity.
An ICC spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday: “We are deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, Abu Dhabi Cricket and everyone connected with the event.”
Cricket Abu Dhabi said: ‘‘It is with great sadness that Abu Dhabi Cricket announces that Head Curator, Mohan Singh, passed away today. Mohan has been with Abu Dhabi Cricket for 15 years and has played a pivotal role in all of the venue’s success during that time.
‘‘Sunday’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Super-12 game between New Zealand and Afghanistan went ahead as scheduled, with the support of Mohan’s family and Abu Dhabi Cricket’s ground staff. Tributes to Mohan and his incredible achievements will be honoured in the coming days.
‘‘We ask for media to respect the privacy of Mohan’s family at this tragic time,’’ it added.
Singh, who had learnt the ropes of the job under Daljit Singh, the hugely respected former first class cricketer-turned-curator in India for Mohali Stadium. He joined the his job Abu Dhabi Cricket Council in 2004 and since then, with two assistants, he had been in charge of the pitch for which the clay was brought from Pakistan. Oldtimers of Abu Dhabi cricketing circles confirmed he was the brain behind the strips laid for the two inaugural matches at Zayed Cricket Stadium in 2006 between India and Pakistan.
Speaking to Indian media, Daljit said: “He came to Mohali from Uttarakhand at a young age prior to the 1996 World Cup and showed a lot of interest in learning the skill and science to produce good pitches. Out of all the groundsmen working under me, he was the most sincere as well as eager to learn.”