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ICC, BCCI satisfied with work being done at Eden Gardens ahead of World Cup: CAB president Snehasish Ganguly
Kolkata: Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Snehasish Ganguly said that the representatives of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are satisfied with the work being put in to prepare the iconic Eden Gardens for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Ahead of the Cricket World Cup from October 5 to November 19 this year, representatives from the ICC and BCCI visited Kolkata to inspect the iconic Eden Gardens stadium, which will host some high-profile matches in the tournament.
On October 28, Eden Gardens will host a match between Netherlands and Bangladesh. Later on October 31, they will host another Bangladesh fixture against Asian rivals Pakistan. On November 5, the stadium will host Team India in a match against South Africa. A week later on November 12, a match between England and Pakistan will take place at the iconic stadium. The second semifinal of the tournament will take place at Eden Gardens on November 16.
Talking to ANI, Snehasish said, "20-21 people had come. They were all really cooperative. We had a presentation ready beforehand about what we have done so far and what we will do later. It made it easy for them to understand us. They took the tour of entire stadium, the ground, hospitality area, broadcasting and commentary area, press box and the media centre. They are very satisfied with the stadium. They have some demands that they asked to us accommodate, since it is a big event. We are trying to fulfil these demands."
The CAB president remarked that Eden Gardens has its own aura.
"Eden Gardens has its own aura. The whole world knows it. Once you enter it, you really feel that you are entering the Eden Gardens. But things have changed a lot, there are new demands. We could not make a new structure, but we can surely upgrade this beautiful structure as much as possible. We have started working on it last two months. They (ICC, BCCI representatives) had come in January as well and made some recommendations. We are working according to those recommendations only. We are focused mainly on hospitality, washrooms, broadcasting and commentary areas," he said.
"The ground at the Eden Gardens is one of the best. By the first week of September, all work will be done. The representatives from ICC and BCCI will make another visit at that point and I am sure that by then, they will be satisfied with the work," he added.
Snehasish said that during the last ODI hosted at the venue, the second ODI between India and Sri Lanka in January, the laser show held at the venue was liked a lot by the fans.
"We will try and take permission for something like this again," he added.
The CAB president said that work was started for the dressing rooms as well.
"We will upgrade the scoreboard. We have also started working on the dressing rooms. Recliners will be changed. New washrooms and massage area, the latter being very important in modern-day cricket, will also be made," he said.
Snehasish recalled watching the 1996 World Cup semifinal between India and Sri Lanka, which India had lost. Now after 27 years, Eden Gardens is hosting another WC semifinal.
"We are all excited about this. I am loving this challenge as a president and I feel truly honoured," he said.
With regards to security, especially during the festive days of Kali Puja and Durga Puja, Snehasish said that he is confident about security.
"We have faith in our security. The way Kolkata Police handles a 65,000-strong crowd inside the stadium is amazing. The crowd comes and goes from the stadium safely. People from all over the world, including India come here to watch the matches. I am very confident about security," said the CAB president.
Talking about the rates of tickets, he said, "The rate of tickets is decided in Apex Council. We have decided and sent it to BCCI. But we have not received any response yet. But we are anticipating that a response will come shortly."
When asked about any confirmation regarding the re-scheduling of the England vs Pakistan World Cup match scheduled for Eden Gardens, CAB president said, "I have not received any official intimation, I will not be able to make any comments unless I get one."
Notably, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said on July 27 that the schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will see some changes.
"There is a small gap in some matches. There is a two-day gap between the two matches. After the match is over, players will travel the next day and they will get no time for practice. Minor changes happen in the World Cup schedule, especially in India, when you look back at history," Jay Shah said while addressing a press conference.
"We are trying that there are fewer changes in matches and venues, especially the venues. Also, two to three nations have requested changes in schedule. ICC and BCCI logistics teams are working on this and everything will be clear in two to four days. We could see some changes," he said.
As per the original schedule release in June, the opening match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, featuring defending champions England and runner-up New Zealand, is set to commence on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ten teams will feature in this biggest Cricket World Cup ever, to be played across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final. The event will feature 48 matches to be played across 46 days.
India's World Cup campaign will begin with a match against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.
The venues other than Ahmedabad and Chennai are Bengaluru, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune. While Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram will join Hyderabad in hosting the practice games.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan will square off at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 on October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Eight teams have qualified for the 46-day event through the Cricket World Cup Super League while the final two spots were decided by the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier taking place in Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka and the Netherlands grabbed the two final spots in the tournament.
The tournament retains the round-robin format of last time with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches. There are six day matches that will start at 10:30 Indian Standard Time (IST) while all other matches, including the knockouts, will be day-night fixtures starting at 14.00 IST.
The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, to be played in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The final will be on November 19 in Ahmedabad. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.