In a fresh blow to Eden Gardens hope of hosting a World Cup match,the International Cricketing Councils Central Inspection Committee sent a letter on Saturday recommending that the remaining matches be also shifted out of Indias most famous cricket venue.
Earlier,the ICC had recommended shifting of the India-England tie,citing that renovation of Eden Gardens was far from complete.
On a day when Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya met Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and spoke to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in an effort to build pressure on International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar,the Central Inspection Committees letter,prepared by,among others,World Cup tournament director Ratnakar Shetty,recommended that all the four matches scheduled for the ground India vs England (February 27),South Africa vs Ireland (March 15),Netherlands vs Ireland (March 18) and Zimbabwe vs Kenya (March 20) be shifted to another venue.
A top BCCI official told The Sunday Express on Saturday that though the ICC committee felt the wicket and the outfield were in excellent condition,there was significant work to be finished at the stadium.
The ICC team felt that at least another 28 days (till Feb 22) were needed for the roof to be in place,for bucket seats to be installed,for completion of security perimeter entry gates and erection of corporate boxes at Eden Gardens,that too if the pace of work increases significantly. They have also said that completion of the venue five days prior to the India-England match leaves little time to test and prepare the venue and have also taken exception to the fact that none of the ICCs venue inspection recommendations were implemented in the past. Hence they have recommended that all the four games be shifted out of Eden Gardens, the BCCI official confirmed.
The letter also made it clear that the hosts must provide alternative venues for all four games by January 30 and that the outstanding issues provide a significant risk to the event,ICC and the host nation.