Eden Garden must host India-England match: Bedi

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Former India spinner Bishen SinghBedi has said that it is wrong on part of the organisers todeprive Kolkata the right to host the India-England World Cupmatch and the local authorities should be given some more timeto complete the renovation work at the historic Eden Gardens.

After an inspection, the International Cricket Councilyesterday decided to shift India''s group match againstEngland, scheduled for February 27, from Eden Gardens, sayingthat the venue will not be ready in time to host the match.

But Bedi said the kind of cricketing atmosphere the cityof Kolkata has is unmatched and it should not be deprived fromhosting the high-profile encounter.

"It''s wrong whether ICC or BCCI (has done it) becausethe electrifying atmosphere, which is experienced in Kolkatais not seen anywhere in the world. I am not backing anycricket Association but it is an important game and Kolkatacrowd deserves to watch it," Bedi told PTI.

"The other matches at Eden are insignificant (from thecrowd point of view). Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore are thecities that have cricket culture and they should not bedeprived of holding good mathces," he added.

Apart from the India-England tie, Eden is slated to hostIreland''s two matches -- against South Africa (March 15) andthe Netherlands (March 18), followed by Kenya-Zimbabwe game onMarch 20.

Bedi said if Mumbai''s Wankhede stadium can be given extratime to complete renovation work, Eden Gardens also deservesimilar treatment.

"It''s not time to settle political scores. How do youknow, that they can''t complete the work? Let''s put the ball intheir court and let them deliver," he said.

"They have awarded the semi-final to Mohali, a city whichhas no cricket culture. It''s agriculture there and not cricketculture.

"In England during the World Cup, Northamptonshire orCardiff were not given important matches. It''s Birmingham,Nottingham, Old Trafford that got important matches because ofthe culture," Bedi added.

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