The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended Bangalore's M Chinnaswamy Stadium as an alternative venue for next month's World Cup Group B match between India and England, a leading official said on Sunday.
Kolkata was dropped on Thursday after an International Cricket Council inspection team said Eden Gardens was under-prepared due to a delay in renovation work.
"The BCCI has recommended Bangalore as an alternative venue (for the February 27 match)," said BCCI secretary N Srinivasan in a statement.
Rediff.com was the first to report on Thursday that BCCI had suggested Bangalore as the alternate venue for the match after they had also deliberated Chennai.
It must come as a huge sigh of relief for Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) as all the matches scheduled in Bangalore featured minnows.
Apart from their clash, India and England are both scheduled to play Ireland on March 2 and 6 respectively. World champions Australia also have a couple of easy matches at this venue, as they are drawn to play Kenya on March 13 and Canada three days later.
The Eden Gardens is also scheduled to host three other matches -- on March 15, March 18 and March 20 and it remains to be seen whether those games would go ahead.
The last ditch effort by West Bengal Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee didn't yield any results. Since morning, there were rumours in the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) corridors that ICC might just consider the plea to extend the deadline of completion of work till February 7.
Even former BCCI president and CAB supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya who had a telephonic conversation with ICC president Sharad Pawar expressed a glimmer of hope as he was assured that ICC would send an e-mail intimating them about the list of dos.
"Pawar is updating me about his whereabouts and in the afternoon - around 2.30pm - said the letter would come in half an hour. But we are yet to receive anything," an upset Dalmiya told reporters before he received the killer blow in the form of a final rejection from the ICC.
An ICC team, comprising stadium consultant Eugene van Vuuren, ICC's general manager-commercial Campbell Jamieson and ICC events manager Chris Tetley, had inspected the Wankhde stadium in Mumbai on Monday and then visited Eden Gardens the next day to check out its status.
The team also visited the three Sri Lanka venues -- Colombo, Hambantota and Pallekele.
While the Wankhede and Sri Lanka venues, which also underwent renovation work, were cleared, the inspection team had reservations about the preparedness of the Eden Gardens.
Of particular concern was the fact that host venue obligations in relation to cricket operations, media, broadcast and sponsorship facilities were not finalized and/or confirmed by the venue.