Historic Eden Garden is meant for BCCI: CAB chief

Kolkata, Aug 25: Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Prasun Mukherjee Friday said Eden Gardens was out of bounds for any sports body not recognised by the Indian cricket board, a day after West Bengal Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty offered the state`s infrastructure to the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Mukherjee, who is also the city police commissioner, said: `Eden Gardens is meant for cricket for CAB and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and international matches sanctioned by BCCI. No other form of cricket can be allowed by the CAB.`

`If CAB allows any sports body not recognised by the BCCI to play cricket here, CAB itself stands a chance of getting dis-affiliated,` he added, clearing the air about Chakraborty`s comment of letting Eden Gardens be used for ICL matches.

Asked to comment on Chakraborty`s comments that the state government would support the ICL, he said: `I have read different versions in the paper. But I will not comment without talking to him. He is a respected person and our state`s sports minister. I need to talk to him before I make any comment.`

Asked about the state of the lease of Eden Gardens, Mukherjee said: `The lease that expired was for 15 years and we are firmly on the road for renewal of lease with the Indian Army. We are only working on certain conditions like the period of time. This time since we are supposed to get a World Cup match here, we want a lease for 30 years which is as good as owning the property as this is the ICC rule.`

He also clarified that the Indian Army was the sole owner of the land of Eden Gardens. `The army is the sole owner of the land of Eden Gardens. The government departments have some say on the constructions,` he said, clarifying that the state government had no stakes in the ownership of Eden Gardens.

He also welcomed the return of Laxmi Ratan Shukla to the CAB fold, but was not too hopeful of Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, who joined ICL, coming back. It has been learnt that Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Sourashis Lahari, both Railway employees, will not take part in Moin-ud-daula Cup for injury reasons.

Bureau Report