Eden Gardens unable to host New Zealand Test
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has expressed its inability to host the second Test between India and New Zealand later this year because of ongoing renovation work at Eden Gardens for the 2011 World Cup. The Test, due to start on November 12, had been originally allotted to the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) but it had also expressed its inability to host.
"Renovation work would have to be stopped for some time if the BCCI's proposal [to host the Test] was accepted," Chitrak Mitra, chairman of CAB stadium committee, told PTI. "This is impossible as the stadium has to be ready for hosting [the] World Cup matches."
The UPCA, meanwhile, declined the opportunity to host the Test, due to the condition of the state-owned Green Park stadium. One fourth of the venue's seating area had been demolished to construct a student's gallery, which is still not complete. "It means smaller spectator capacity as well as danger to those who would have come to see the Test," Rajiv Shukla, honorary secretary of the UPCA, told Times of India. "The situation is not ideal to host such an important game, although we were not looking at the revenue loss." In February, the UPCA had opted out of hosting an ODI against South Africa because of a dispute with the state government body, which owns Green Park.
Andy Atkinson, the ICC's chief pitch consultant, and his deputy David Eugene visited Eden Gardens on September 10 and urged the CAB to speed up the renovation work. An ICC team will visit the stadium on December 8 for the final inspection. Eden Gardens is scheduled to stage four World Cup matches: India v England on February 27, Ireland v South Africa on March 15, Ireland v Netherlands on March 18 and Kenya v Zimbabwe on March 20.
Eden Gardens last hosted a Test in February this year, in which India beat South Africa by an innings and 57 runs. New Zealand are scheduled to play three Test matches and five ODIs during their tour in November-December. The first Test begins in Ahmedabad on November 4.