Is all well with Eden Gardens?

Kolkata: The famed Eden Gardens resembling a battlefield with renovation work going on in full gear ahead of the ICC team`s final inspection for the World Cup might paint a sorry picture, but the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is optimistic that it will be ready in time.

Having missed the deadlines to finish the work twice already --- November 30, 2010 and January 15 this year – the CAB this time promises to hand over the World Cup venue on January 31.

"There is no construction work left. There are only a few things here and there that need to be fixed. Once the fitting is done, the venue will be ready and we will hand it over on January 31," CAB joint-secretary Biswarup Dey told reporters.

However, the sight of Eden Gardens in shambles might give a different picture with heavy iron beams, bricks and mortars and tons of garbage lying all over the stadium as the bulldozers work overtime to clear the mess less than 24 hours before the ICC delegation`s visit.

But the CAB maintained that all is well with Eden Gardens.

Asked if he was happy with the progress, CAB supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya shot back, "Then why are we here for? We would have given up long time ago if we were not happy... This is not the first time we are hosting a big tournament like this. We have already hosted World Cup matches twice (final in 1987 and semifinal in 1996)."

Giving example of hosting back-to-back matches during the Hero Cup in 1993, Dalmiya said, "We hosted two semi-finals and the final of the Hero Cup and never ever our organisational capability has been doubted."

"It`s the media that pressed the panic button and created a general misconception. Renovation work is done based on the existing basic structure of the stadium and it will be ready in time," Dalmiya said.

The ground reality, however, is that the much-talked about Press Box and VIP enclosures are yet to be ready as they are temporarily used as go downs for building materials or as shelters for construction workers.

The bucket seats are yet to be fixed in the upper tiers of five blocks of A, B, C, K and L while the basic amenities of toilets are in a spot of bother with building materials strewn all over as puddles have formed here and there acting as breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Even the main entry and the path that leads to the dressing room is locked and heavily dusted and is under construction.

But the CAB joint-secretary said there was nothing to worry about.