x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

ICC stands ground over decision on Kolkata's Eden Gardens

A letter of support from the Indian board and a promise to complete work by a fresh deadline of February 7 is to no avail as logistically it is not feasible, says the world body.

NEW DELHI // The International Cricket Council will not reconsider its decision to drop Eden Gardens as host of the India-England World Cup match next month.

The ICC said India's premier ground failed an inspection this week and would not be ready in time for the February 27 match.

Humbled Indian administrators immediately asked for more time, but tournament director Ratnakar Shetty confirmed on Saturday that the "ICC had refused to change its decision on Eden Gardens."

The Cricket Association of Bengal, which was responsible for the iconic venue, urged the ICC through the Indian cricket board to give it 10 more days to meet a fresh deadline of February 7.

Indian cricket board president Shashank Manohar added a letter of support.

But ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said another extended deadline was not possible.

"I told (Manohar) the ICC could not accommodate the request," Lorgat told the website espncricinfo.com. "There was too much of planning and too much of logistics that would be involved."

Stripping Calcutta of the India-England game, one of the showpieces of the group stage, was seen as a major blot on the controversial administrative career of CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has previously headed the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Eden Gardens missed two other deadlines - November 30 and December 31 - before the final deadline of last Tuesday.

Though there was no problem with the field, some stands were still being worked on when an ICC inspection team visited on Tuesday.

Dalmiya said on Thursday he was shocked by the ICC decision, and believed the inspectors were satisfied with the renovations to the 82,000-seat ground.

The ICC wants the BCCI to find an alternative venue by Monday for the thousands of ticket-holders. Bangalore was the front-runner, but Delhi and Mohali were reportedly being considered.

The three other group matches in March at Eden Gardens were expected to be green-lighted.