Eden Gardens must host India-England match: Bedi
New Delhi: Former India spinner Bishen Singh Bedi said it was wrong on part of the organisers to deprive Kolkata the right to host the India-England World Cup match and the local authorities should be given some more time to complete the renovation work at the historic Eden Gardens.
After an inspection, the International Cricket Council yesterday decided to shift India`s group match against England, scheduled for February 27, from Eden Gardens, saying that the venue will not be ready in time to host the match.
But Bedi said the kind of cricketing atmosphere the city of Kolkata has is unmatched and it should not be deprived from hosting the high-profile encounter.
"It`s wrong whether ICC or BCCI (has done it) because the electrifying atmosphere, which is experienced in Kolkata is not seen anywhere in the world. I am not backing any cricket Association but it is an important game and Kolkata crowd deserves to watch it," Bedi said.
"The other matches at Eden are insignificant (from the crowd point of view). Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore are the cities that have cricket culture and they should not be deprived of holding good mathces," he added.
Apart from the India-England tie, Eden is slated to host Ireland`s two matches -- against South Africa (March 15) and the Netherlands (March 18), followed by Kenya-Zimbabwe game on March 20.
Bedi said if Mumbai`s Wankhede stadium can be given extra time to complete renovation work, Eden Gardens also deserve similar treatment.
"It`s not time to settle political scores. How do you know, that they can`t complete the work? Let`s put the ball in their court and let them deliver," he said.
"They have awarded the semi-final to Mohali, a city which has no cricket culture. It`s agriculture there and not cricket culture.”
"In England during the World Cup, Northamptonshire or Cardiff were not given important matches. It`s Birmingham, Nottingham, Old Trafford that got important matches because of the culture," Bedi added.