Eden will be ready by February 27: Dalmiya

Kolkata: Cricket Association of Bengal chief Jagmohan Dalmiya on Thursday assured cricket enthusiasts that the Eden Gardens, which is scheduled to host four World Cup matches, would be ready by February 27 when the first match of the quadrennial event would be staged.

After meeting the 20-odd member International Cricket Council (ICC) delegation that inspected the ground this morning, Dalmiya said the delayed construction work should not be a cause for concern.

“Even other venues, where renovation work is going on, are not ready yet,” Dalmiya told reporters pointing out at the under-construction Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and MAC Stadium in Chennai.

As a matter of fact, the renovation and modernization work at Eden Gardens have already missed the November deadline which has now been extended till last week of December.

Asked about the deadline, Dalmiya smiled and said: “It’s February 27 (the scheduled date for India-England fixture). I don’t know what ICC has to say, but of course the stadium will be ready in time,” Dalmiya assured.

He said the pitch was already ready.

“We have hosted one one-dayer (against Sri Lanka) and Test (against South Africa)... There is nothing wrong with the pitch which is absolutely ready.”

The Eden is currently undergoing a major renovation work, which includes replacement of the galleries, a new look for the stadium and redoing of the toilets.

The renovation of the stadium and replacement of the concrete galleries with more comfortable bucket seats means that the capacity of 85,000 will have been reduced to about 60,000 when complete.

The CAB is also overhauling the dressing rooms lay out, furniture, illumination, air-conditioning, the 17-year-old floodlights, the first to be installed in a cricket ground in the sub-continent.

Eden Gardens is scheduled to host four group matches -- India v England on February 27, Ireland v South Africa on March 15, Ireland v Netherlands on March 18 and Kenya v Zimbabwe on March 20.