Disappointing news for the City of Joy and a major embarrassment for the BCCI. The ICC has decided that Kolkata's Eden Garden stadium will not be ready in time to host the India Vs England tie of the World Cup 2011 on Feb 27 and therefore has moved the match out of the city.
"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," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said. "This was no easy decision to take and while it is most unfortunate, it is absolutely necessary." The Cricket Association of Bengal is having an emergency meeting to discuss the development.
Kolkata is also scheduled to host three other matches in the big event, but the status of those games is also ambiguous at the moment. The India-England clash was the only chance for fans in Kolkata to see the home side.
Kolkata's loss might be Bangalore's gain as an ICC source stated that Chinnaswamy Stadium has been tipped as the alternative to host the match. "99% it will be Bangalore," an ICC source said.
The news comes just two days after tournament director Ratnakar Shetty dismissed concerns over the preparedness of the venues. The media had recently been barred entry for inspection of the stadium.
Meanwhile, the Jagmohan Dalmiya-led Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Thursday lashed out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its decision to shift an India-England World Cup match
Crying foul, the CAB said that the ground is match fit and termed the decision to shift the match as a "conspiracy" against Bengal cricket.
CAB officials said that they had not been informed by the ICC or the BCCI about the decision, and added that the ground is fully ready and the problem was only with the galleries.