World Cup: New-look Eden will be a spectacle, says CAB president

ICC delegation is happy with the first round of inspection as reworked fixtures are still awaited

Eden Gardens (Photo: NH File Photo)
Eden Gardens (Photo: NH File Photo)

NH Sports Bureau

Eden Gardens, the historic venue which will host five matches of the 50-overs World Cup including a semi-final in October-November, cleared the first hurdle as the International Cricket Council (ICC) officials gave them a thumbs up on the progress of its makeover so far.

A team of 21 representatives from ICC and hosts BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) visited the stadium as a part of a countrywide recce of the 10 venues.

‘’ICC were happy with the work progress. They visited every corner of the stadium and expressed happiness with the renovation work. They were also happy with the work being done at the new players’ dressing room, hospitality box, corporate box, and the already completed Press Box and Media Centre,’’ Snehasish Ganguly, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president told the media after the inspection.

An ICC team will come on a second visit next month before the start of the showpiece event, which sees Kolkata hosting its first match on October 28 between Qualifier 1 and Bangladesh. This will be followed by Pakistan vs Bangladesh on October 31; India vs South Africa on November 5; England vs Pakistan on November 12 and the marquee semi-final on November 16.

‘’We are also confident of completing the work which is left well ahead of the September deadline. The new-look of Eden Gardens will surely be a spectacle to watch,’’ said Ganguly, a former first-class cricketer of repute and elder brother of Sourav Ganguly.

‘’We are also focusing on providing good hospitality and keeping adequate food counters for fans who will come in large numbers to fill the stadium. Overall, it will be a thrilling experience for one and all who will be a part of the event,’’ he said, before adding: ‘’In addition to this, the stadium's main electronic scoreboard will have a new look while a second electronic scoreboard will also be installed at the ground.’’

The fixtures of the World Cup, meanwhile, could see a slight change with the date of the India-Pakistan in Ahmedabad likely to be shuffled a bit from October 15. That, however, is not the only change in the offing.

“We have received requests from 2-3 ICC member boards participating in the World Cup to make some changes to the schedule,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said after a meeting with host associations last week. “What’s important for us is we don’t have to make any change in venues.”

A plausible reason for a change in date for the India-Pakistan match is because it coincides with the Navaratri festival, widely celebrated in that part of the country — which may become a security headache for police forces. However, any change in match dates, with exactly two months to go for the event, will result in a domino effect as it will overlap with other matches.

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