Kolkata and Mumbai cleared by ICC for WC: Lorgat
Mumbai: Kolkata and Mumbai grounds have been given the final clearance to stage Cricket World Cup matches after concerns about their readiness, the head of the governing body told reporters on Monday.
"Those venues have all been squared off, they`re ready," International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a telephone interview ahead of the Feb 19-April 2 tournament. "There isn`t an issue about readiness of stadiums."
This means only one match, India`s fixture with England on Feb 27, had to be switched from Kolkata`s Eden Gardens to Bangalore. Mumbai has been given the go-ahead to stage the final on April 2 as well as two other group-stage fixtures.
"We felt they (Kolkata) would not be ready by Feb 27 but they had every opportunity to be ready for the matches (there) in March and we`ve got to the point now when all of the venues are going to be ready for the games scheduled," he said.
"Mumbai made fabulous progress post the initial delays, the initial concerns, that were experienced back in December and when we came for that inspection in January we were satisfied with the progress."
"So there isn`t an issue about readiness of the stadiums."
Similarly, Sri Lanka`s three grounds were also "good to go".
A report from the ICC`s World Cup inspection team is expected on Tuesday to confirm his comments.
The ICC`s bill of health will be a big relief to local organisers, particularly in India where the delays in preparing Commonwealth Games facilities last year in New Delhi proved a major embarrassment to a country determined to present a modern, efficient image to world audiences.
Eden Gardens is one of the most prestigious in India but ICC inspectors found renovation work on the stand still unfinished in December and similarly, Mumbai`s Wankhede Stadium needed completing.