India camp at Eden Gardens, despite rain threat

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Kolkata, Nov 1 (UNI) Despite inclement weather, Eden Gardens looks ready to host the Indian conditioning camp for the Pakistan series.

The two day conditioning camp begins tomorrow before the team flies out to Guwahati on November 4, for the series lung-opener the next day.

If the weather forecasts are to be believed then Kolkata and surrounding regions are expected to receive medium to heavy downpours with a cyclonic weather prevailing over the next 24 hours.

The Met offices told UNI that Kolkata had received some 73.9 mm of rainfall overnight with little chances of the conditions improving.

Sourav Ganguly was summoned today morning by the CAB authorities.

He came and inspected the pitch and looked happy.

Samar Pal told UNI, ''We can only hope that the depression moves away towards Bangladesh. Two hours of sunshine and the ground will be absolutely ready. The camp will be held in Eden Gardens.'' ''Sourav (Ganguly) told me that he did not expect the ground to be improved so fast. he was happy. It was a prestige issue for us and BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah has given us the go ahead,'' he added.

''I am in constant touch with Mr Shah, we have readied the Pankaj Gupta Indoor Facilities, the concrete pitches and the flood lights in case the team wants to do night practice,'' he added.

''We have been here from five am in the morning and the work has been going on on war footing and the groud looks in excellent condition now,'' he added.

In spite of the tall claims that the outer drains of the Eden Gardens had been cleared for speedy flushing of waters, yesterday's torrent left the ground flooded raising fears of cancellation of the camp.

There was also a scare of the water seeping below the tarpaulins onto the pitch as the the skies opened up unexpectedly. ''The practice pitches are in good condition and there has been no seepage. The bowlers' run-ups have also dried up,'' he added.

It was one such sharp shower that left the new regime at CAB embarrassed unable to hold an India-Sri Lanka tie.

Meanwhile, the players were due to troop into the city in batches from today afternoon.

Initially the Cricket Association of Bengal had decided to conduct the camp at CC&FC ground. But several inspections later the venue was scrapped. The final inspection at CC&FC was done by Sourav Ganguly at the behest of BCCI COO Ratnakar Shetty.

The Ranji tie between Bengal and Hyderabad was deferred from November four to five and the Eden Gardens readied for the camp.

UNI

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