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Eden Gardens batting for compromise

Last updated on: January 27, 2011 21:09 IST

While the disappointment of having lost the right to host the highly-anticipated World Cup match between India and England cannot be undone, the authorities in Bengal have quickly latched on to the next available option.

With the International Cricket Council conveying to the Board of Control for Cricket in India its decision to shift the above-mentioned match, scheduled to be held on February 27, to another venue because of delay in completition of construction work, the Eden Gardens lost out on what was its main World Cup fixture.

However, in what can be termed as an immediate reaction, and probably the best possible compromise, the Cricket Association of Bengal is making an effort to secure the next available option.?

The compromise involves the swapping of the above match (India v England) with either the Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bangalore) or the Ferozeshah Kotla (New Delhi).

While Chinnaswamy plays host to the India - Ireland match on March 6, three days later Kotla is scheduled to host the home side against the Netherlands.

The planned deal involves the swapping of Eden's scheduled fixture (Feb 27) with either of these two venues.

Meanehile, Cricket Associate of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya sounded hopeful that the India-England match would be played at the venue.

"I have not given up hope," Dalmiya said, adding that he has already written to Board of Control for Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar.

"I am looking into what can be done. There is still some hope that the match could be brought back to the venue," he said.

The historic venue in Kolkata, which gave up the hosting rights for the second Test during New Zealand's recent tour to India, in a bid to complete preparation for the upcoming World Cup, was deemed unfit for cricket's flagship event.

However, the ICC termed the delay in construction as the chief reason for its decision for the switch.

The last international match played in Kolkata was the second Test between India and South Africa, last February, while the last ODI game that involved the hosts against Sri Lanka (December 2009) witnessed a lengthy power failure.

If a compromise is at all reached, it can at least pacify the cricket-loving Eden fans to an extent. For, they can then expect to see their home side in action at least once during the competition.

The ground is also scheduled to host three other matches - on March 15, March 18 and March 20 respectively. Will the ICC clear these? Will Eden be ready by then?

Bikash Mohapatra