A day after International Cricket Council stripped Kolkata of the India-England World Cup tie on February 27, its president Sharad Pawar on Friday hinted that Eden Gardens may still host the match if the member countries agree to it.
Pawar confirmed that BCCI President Shashank Manohar wrote a letter to him requesting to give another deadline of February 7 to complete work at the Eden Gardens and said he has asked ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat to initiate talks with England and other member countries whether they agree to it.
He said the ICC will take a decision only after January 30 whether the match will be held in Bangalore or in Kolkata as scheduled earlier.
"I have asked the CEO Haroon Lorgat to submit a report on January 30 after talks with ICC member countries, especially England, whether they agree to give more time till February 7 to complete work at the Eden Gardens," Pawar said in Kanpur.
"We will take a decision after January 30 whether the India-England World Cup will be held in Bangalore or it will be held in Kolkata," said Pawar.
Pawar said that an ICC Committee had doubts over the readiness of Eden Gardens on time to host the February 27 match and that was the reason why the decision to strip the stadium of the tie was taken.
"An ICC team had inspected all the World Cup venues. This team had found that a stadium each in Mumbai (Wankhede) and Sri Lanka would be ready on time. But it had doubts over the readiness of Eden Gardens to host the February 27 match. So the ICC Committee took the decision to take the match away from Kolkata," he said.
Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya on Thursday appealed to the ICC through the Indian Cricket Board to extend the deadline for completion of work at Eden Gardens till February 7.
The ICC chief said that he has asked his CEO to speak to all the member countries, especially with England, because lots of cricket fans from other nations will come to India to watch the World Cup and they will have to book hotels and tickets in advance.
"If they (cricket fans) are not given enough time they may face problems. Especially from England, there will be lots of fans coming to watch the India-England match and that was why I have asked Lorgat to speak to them," Pawar said.
"He (Lorgat) will submit the report to me on January 30 and then a decision on the BCCI's appeal not to take away the match from Kolkata will be taken," he said.
Asked about his opinion on the concern raised at some quarters that players are suffering from injuries because of too much of cricket, Pawar said, "If any player is injured or he feels tired, he is allowed to take rest and new and young players are given chance to play.
"Cricket is loved so much by the people that they are ready to come out and watch. In any case, the issue will have to be dealt by the cricket boards of each country and not by the ICC," he said.
On any steps taken by the ICC to deal with match-fixing and betting during the World Cup, Pawar said, "The ICC has nothing much to do with this. The police of the venue city and the host Board will have to tackle it. Betting is banned in countries like India and Pakistan."