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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Eden Gardens can still host other matches if ready: ICC

Eden Gardens can still host other matches if ready: ICC

January 31, 2011 10:02 IST

The ICC on Sunday rejected BCCI's appeal to reconsider its decision to take away India-England cricket World Cup match from Kolkata but its president Sharad Pawar said the Eden Gardens can host the other three ties if it is ready on time.

"The first match may not take place there but the rest of the three matches could have a chance if the requirements are fulfilled," Pawar said in New Delhi.

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

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

The BCCI at the behest of the Cricket Association of Bengal appealed to the ICC to extend the completion deadline for the tie to February 7.

Even West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee tried his bit and asked two of his ministers to get in touch with former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and put in all possible efforts to bring the match back to the city.

But Pawar on Sunday said he tried his best but his efforts ended in smoke.

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

CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya had also called on Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and even personally spoke to Pawar regarding the issue but all efforts went in vain with ICC rejecting the plea on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Dalmiya had said that he was waiting for a letter from the ICC specifying the reasons why Eden Gardens was dropped.

"It's no hidden treasure. But by seeing this at least we will have the satisfaction why we were not given an opportunity ... This is just a reasonable request," Dalmiya had said.

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

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

The India-England clash was to be the only match featuring the co-hosts at the venue and the other scheduled clashes mostly feature minnows.

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

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