New Delhi: In a major setback to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and thousands of cricket enthusiasts of Bengal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected the appeal of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reconsider its earlier decision of shifting the World Cup match out of historic Eden Gardens for non-readiness of the venue.
In a press release, the BCCI has informed that the ICC today conveyed that there would be no India-England World Cup match at Eden Gardens on February 27.
The BCCI has recommended Bengaluru as the alternate venue for the match.
"The ICC has conveyed to the BCCI that it will not be able to hold the India Vs England match of the ICC CWC 2011 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on 27 February 2011.”
"The BCCI has recommended Bengaluru as the alternate venue," BCCI Secretary & President-Elect N Srinivasan said in the release.
The hectic political lobbying that was on for the past 48 hours since it was announced that Eden`s marquee match will be shifted went in vain with the BCCI announcing ICC`s verdict.
The last ditch effort by West Bengal Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee didn`t yield any results. Since morning, there were rumours in the CAB corridors that ICC might just consider the plea to extend the deadline of completion of work till February 7.
Even former BCCI president and Cricket Association of Bengal supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya who had a telephonic conversation with ICC president Sharad Pawar expressed a glimmer of hope as he was assured that ICC would send an e-mail intimating them about the list of dos.
"I have spoken to Pawar, N Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley, Ratnakar Shetty not less than five to six times.”
"Pawar is updating me about his whereabouts and in the afternoon -- around 2.30pm -- said the letter would come in half an hour. But we are yet to receive anything," an upset Dalmiya told reporters before he received the killer blow in the form of a final rejection from the ICC said.
It`s been a terrible setback for CAB that even someone as important as Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s intervention couldn`t tilt the scales in CAB`s favour.
So devastated was Dalmiya after hearing the news that he confined himself in his chamber at the DR B.C.Roy Club House at Eden Gardens and refused to come out.
"I have lot of things to sort out and I can`t talk to the media today," he literally ran for cover as the waiting mediapersons hounded him.
The joint secretary of the state association Biswarup Dey conceded that it`s all over for Eden Gardens as of now.
"We all thought that we have got a lifeline but now it seems that all hopes of having the match are over. I am speechless. If the best efforts from chief minister aren`t enough, what can we say? But I would definitely raise this question at the BCCI meeting that how Bangalore can get two matches when it was decided all centres will get a match each," was his feeble argument.