CAB to push for India-Ireland match

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) will press for the India-Ireland World Cup match scheduled in Bangalore on March 6 to balance for the loss of the February 27 India-England tie. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had decided not to hold the match in Kolkata and awarded it to M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore late last month following an adverse inspection committee report that decided Eden Gardens would not be ready for the February 27 match. CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya is likely to make the request for rescheduling the match through the Board of Control for Cricket in India within the next couple of days.

CAB's decision to seek the India-Ireland tie received a fillip on Tuesday when ICC chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat described the chances of Eden Gardens hosting the three other World Cup matches South Africa versus Ireland on March 15, Ireland versus Netherlands on March 18 and Zimbabwe versus Kenya on March 20 as "very good". "We have received a preliminary report after Monday's inspection and the ICC is happy with the progress made at the Eden Gardens in the past week. In all likelihood, Kolkata will hold the remaining matches in March," Lorgat said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Though an official from ICC had not reached CAB when TOI last spoke to officials on Tuesday evening, Lorgat's statement was encouraging enough to enthuse CAB officials to prepare a brief for requesting the India-Ireland match. The line of argument is clear. When the World Cup fixture was prepared, it was pre-decided that Mumbai would get the final, Mohali semi-final and Ahmedabad a quarter final match. The five league matches in which India featured were to be distributed among the remaining five venues Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Nagpur. Since the more important India-England tie has now been handed to Bangalore, CAB wants the smaller India-Ireland tie to be shifted to Eden Gardens from Chinnaswamy that now has two ties featuring Team India.

"We had maintained that we were prepared to host the India-England tie on February 27. There is no doubt about our capability to host the India-Ireland tie scheduled on March 6. I think losing the India-England tie has been punishment enough for falling behind the ICC progress schedule in completing the stadium. The cricket-loving people of Kolkata don't deserve to be punished any further. The India-Ireland tie will be somewhat of a compensation," CAB joint secretary Biswarup Dey reasoned. Though Lorgat remarked on Tuesday that it was "very difficult" to shift the India-Ireland tie to Eden Gardens due to logistical issues, it is not an impossibility given that the India-England tie was shifted to Bengaluru less than a fortnight ago.


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