Eden Gardens can still host other matches if it is ready: ICC

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The ICC today rejected BCCI''sappeal to reconsider its decision to take away India-Englandcricket World Cup match from Kolkata but its president SharadPawar said the Eden Gardens can host the other three ties ifit is ready on time.

"The first match may not take place there but the rest ofthe three matches could have a chance if the requirements arefulfilled," Pawar told reporters here.

"We have written to BCCI regarding this. I spoke to BCCIpresident Shashank Manohar to get the stadium ready so thatother matches are staged there," he added.

The historic 100,000 capacity stadium lost the right tohost the crucial February 27 India-England tie after failingto meet the completion deadline for renovation work.

The BCCI at the behest of the Cricket Association ofBengal appealed to the ICC to extend the completion deadlinefor the tie to February 7.

Even West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjeetried his bit and asked two of his ministers to get in touchwith former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and put inall possible efforts to bring the match back to the city.

But Pawar today said he tried his best but his effortsended in smoke.

"I personally tried intervening after the Chief Ministerof West Bengal requested me to do so. But when the ICC teamarrived there, the ground was not ready," he said.

CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya had also called on UnionFinance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and even personally spoke toPawar regarding the issue but all efforts went in vain withICC rejecting the plea today.

Earlier in the day, Dalmiya had said that he was waitingfor a letter from the ICC specifying the reasons why EdenGardens was dropped.

"It''s no hidden treasure. But by seeing this at least wewill have the satisfaction why we were not given anopportunity ... This is just a reasonable request," Dalmiyahad said.

"We want to know what the ICC''s expectation, concerns etcare. What is our fault...? We all are peeved, but with allhumbleness we are making a polite request. We are not here tocreate an acrimony."

Asked about Dalmiya''s outburst, Pawar did not respond.

The India-England clash was to be the only matchfeaturing the co-hosts at the venue and the other scheduledclashes mostly feature minnows.

South Africa-Ireland (March 15), Netherlands-Ireland(March 18) and Zimbabwe-Kenya (March 20) are the other gamesscheduled at the venue.

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