Kanpur: A day after International Cricket Council stripped Kolkata of the India-England World Cup tie on February 27, its president Sharad Pawar today hinted that Eden Gardens may still host the match if the member countries agree to it.
Pawar confirmed that BCCI President Shashank Manohar wrote a letter to him requesting to give another deadline of February 7 to complete work at the Eden Gardens and said he has asked ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat to initiate talks with England and other member countries whether they agree to it.
He said the ICC will take a decision only after January 30 whether the match will be held in Bangalore or in Kolkata as scheduled earlier.
"I have asked the CEO Haroon Lorgat to submit a report on January 30 after talks with ICC member countries, especially England, whether they agree to give more time till February 7 to complete work at the Eden Gardens," Pawar said at the sidelines of a function at the Indian Institute of Pulses Research here.
"We will take a decision after January 30 whether the India-England World Cup will be held in Bangalore or it will be held in Kolkata," said Pawar, who is also Union Agriculture Minister.
Pawar said that an ICC Committee had doubts over the readiness of Eden Gardens on time to host the February 27 match and that was the reason why the decision to strip the stadium of the tie was taken.
"An ICC team had inspected all the World Cup venues. This team had found that a stadium each in Mumbai (Wankhede) and Sri Lanka would be ready on time. But it had doubts over the readiness of Eden Gardens to host the February 27 match. So the ICC Committee took the decision to take the match away from Kolkata," he said.
Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya yesterday appealed to the ICC through the Indian Cricket Board to extend the deadline for completion of work at Eden Gardens till February 7.