Day of reckoning for Eden Gardens

Updated: Feb 07, 2011, 09:37 AM IST

Zeecric Bureau

Kolkata: It will be an anxious day for Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials on Monday as a team of International Cricket Council (ICC) members will inspect the ground’s preparedness to hold three matches of the upcoming cricket World Cup.

Eden has already lost out on the India-England match that was scheduled to be held here on February 27 after the ICC inspection last week found the ground not ready for the big clash. The match was subsequently shifted to Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium.

In spite of the ground still sporting a rough look on the eve of the inspection, CAB officials looked confident that it would pass the test this time.

"We are ready," the Cricket Association of Bengal said Sunday.

"Work is very much on schedule. Whatever we needed to complete by Monday has been done. We are ready," CAB joint secretary Biswarup Dey said.

With 1,600 labourers working on a war footing, the historic Eden Gardens looks spic and span, which seems a sharp contrast to its almost war-ravaged looks Jan 25, when an ICC inspection team visited the facility only to decide that the ground was not prepared to hold the India-England game.

However, the uncovered roof on two newly built galleries could still be a bone of contention, with the ICC asking the CAB to complete the roof construction work before the venue can be given a clearance for the three games. CAB has already told the ICC that it was not possible to complete the roof.

As per a timeline given by the ICC, part of the work has to be completed by Monday, some more part by Feb 14 and the entire work schedule by Feb 22.

The CAB has said ICC will carry out two more inspections Feb 14 and Feb 22, though sources at the international body could not confirm the dates.

"We have so far received information that a three-member ICC team will inspect the facilities. From our side, four/five office bearers will be there to show them around," said Dey.

The ICC Jan 27 ruled the Eden Gardens unsuitable for the Feb 27 tie following an adverse report form its inspection team.

Following an appeal from CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar requested ICC to consider the demand, but the international body turned it down.

The Eden Gardens, which hosted the World Cup final in 1987, is now slated to host South Africa vs. Ireland (March 15), the Netherlands vs. Ireland (March 18), and Zimbabwe vs. Kenya (March 20) matches.