Eden Gardens will not host India-England World Cup match (Lead)

January 27th, 2011 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) Kolkata’s Eden Gardens will not host the India-England World Cup tie slated for February 27 due to its unpreparedness, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Thursday following an adverse report from the venue inspection team.The inspection team comprising tournament director Ratnakar Shetty, members of the Central Organising Committe (COC) and the ICC reported on the readiness of five outstanding venues after visiting the facilities. The team inspected Eden Gardens Tuesday.

“The expert report, however, determined that Eden Gardens in Kolkata would not be ready within an acceptable time frame to host the India vs England ICC Cricket World Cup match on Feb 27,” the ICC said in a statement Thursday.

“Of particular concern was the fact that host venue obligations in relation to cricket operations, media, broadcast and sponsorship facilities were not finalised and/or confirmed by the venue,” it said.

Unfortunately, it was India’s only match at Eden Gardens which is supposed to host three other — South Africa vs. Ireland (March 15), the Netherlands vs. Ireland (March 18), and Zimbabwe vs. Kenya (March 20).

“The three Sri Lanka venues - Colombo, Hambantota and Pallekele - as well as Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai have been approved subject to minor finishing work being completed within specified time frames not exceeding 14 days,” the statement read.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of the decision.

As the host, the BCCI will now consider an alternate venue for approval by the ICC.

“All venues had ample time to prepare for World Cup matches. We had been understanding and had provided extensions to the deadline dates but unfortunately we are now at a point where we must carefully manage our risks,” Lorgat said.

“The COC had provided venues with a deadline of Nov 30, 2010, to complete all construction work and then to be match-ready by December 31, 2010.”

“An extension was granted by the ICC for five venues, which were again inspected over the past week. Sadly, Eden Gardens in Kolkata was unable to meet the final deadline date of 25 January, 2011,” Lorgat said.

“Regrettably, Eden Gardens has not made sufficient progress to justify the level of confidence required to confirm that the venue would be ready in good time. This was no easy decision to take and while it is most unfortunate, it is absolutely necessary,” said Lorgat.

The inspection team drew on the knowledge and experience of some of the leading experts in the field of stadium and ground preparation and the view was that Eden Gardens would not be ready by Feb 27.

The ICC has also recognised the challenge of relocating a scheduled match.

“We will work with the new venue, the tour operators and the ticket distributors to manage the logistical challenges that will surely arise,” Tournament Director Ratnakar Shetty said.

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