Eden Gardens will not host the World Cup game between India and England on February 27, the ICC has said. The ICC's inspection team, which included some of the leading experts in the field of stadium and ground preparation, felt that Eden Gardens would not be ready by February 27. No alternate venue for the match has yet been named.
"Regrettably, Eden Gardens has not made sufficient progress to justify the level of confidence required to confirm that the venue would be ready in good time," Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said. "This was no easy decision to take and while it is most unfortunate, it is absolutely necessary."
The news comes just two days after the tournament director, Ratnakar Shetty, waved away worries over readiness of World Cup venues. Media personnel had been barred from a recent inspection of Eden Gardens.
The venue, one of the largest cricket stadiums in the world, has hosted some of the highest-profile matches of the previous two World Cups held in the subcontinent including the final in 1987 and the semi-final in 1996.
"All venues had ample time in which to prepare for World Cup matches," Lorgat said. "We had been understanding and had provided extensions to the deadline dates but unfortunately we are now at a point where we must carefully manage our risks.
"The Central Organising Committee had provided venues with a deadline of 30 November 2010 to complete all construction work and then to be match-ready by 31 December 2010. An extension was granted by the ICC for five venues, which were again inspected over the past week. Sadly, Eden Gardens in Kolkata was unable to meet the final deadline date of 25 January 2011."