Kolkata: In a desperate bid, the CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya in a letter to the Indian Cricket Board has requested them to appeal to International Cricket Council to extend the deadline for completion of work at Eden Gardens till February 7 drawing parallel to two week extension that has been granted to Wankhede Stadium and three other stadiums.
The veteran cricket administrator tried to put up a brave face in front of the mediapersons after the ICC announced its decision to shift the World Cup match between India and England scheduled to be played at the Eden on February 27.
"We confirm that we will hand over a completed Eden Gardens to the ICC on February 7 provided we are given the aforesaid extension. We kindly request the ICC through you to elaborate on the specific requirments to ensure that we hand over the ready venue by February 7," Dalmiya was quoted as saying in a letter written to BCCI president Shashank Manohar.
"We feel that we are already in a position to host the match. Despite this, we will take cognizance of ICC`s concerns pertaining to cricketing operations, media, broadcast and sponsorship facilities," the letter further stated.
Drawing parallel to the Wankhede getting an extension, he said,"It may be noted that the ICC decision came exactly 30 days before the start of the match. The ICC consultant feels that we would be able to complete the stadium works within February 22 and if we do so then we would be able to host the remaining three matches scheduled on March 15, 18 and 20.
"So it will be 20 days when ICC wants to take up the venue. We are at loss to understand that why ICC is taking away the India vs England match 30 days prior to the fixture.”
"It is also pertinent to note that three Sri Lanka venues -- Colombo, Hanbantota and Pallekele as well as Wankhede in Mumbai have been given time extension for 14 days. Logically the CAB should also have been given at least till February 7
for handing over the venue prior to the India-England tie. It is an extension of 10 days and not the 14 days given to the Wankhede Stadium and the three Sri Lankan venues."
Dalmiya seemed yet to get over the shock of having received the ICC snub.
"We at the CAB were shocked when we received an ICC media release stating that Eden Gardens have been ruled out for the India-England match."
"It came as a shock as when the ICC inspection team was here in Kolkata, we were given to understand that they were happy with the progress of the work and had suggested only a minor modifications."
Asked what could be the reasons for shifting the match, Dalmiya said,"This is not the time to discuss all this. We are having a discussion. We expect a positive response within a day or two. I will get back to you by day after tomorrow."
Dalmiya however said he was yet to talk to ICC president Sharad Pawar. He refused to comment when asked whether it had anything to do with his long-standing acrimony with the current BCCI brass.