Pranab agrees to speak to ICC chief

Sunday, January 30, 2011

KOLKATA - A day after Cricket Association of Bengal(CAB) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya sought his intervention to bring back the Feb 27 India-England world cup match to the Eden Gardens, union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Sunday said he would speak to International cricket Council (ICC) president Sharad Pawar on the issue.

Mukherjees assurance to take up the matter with Pawar, his ministerial colleague in the Prime Minister M

Dalmiya has met me. I will speak to Sharad Pawar, Mukherjee told media persons here.

I do not know much about sports. The problem which has cropped up has to be solved by those who understand sports, said Mukherjee.

The ICC Jan 27 ruled the Eden Gardens unsuitable for the tie due to its unpreparedness. The scrapping of the venue followed an adverse report from the ICC venue inspection team that reviewed Eden Gardens readiness for the big event hosted jointly by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from Feb 19 to April 2.

Drawing flak from all quarters, Dalmiya has sought time till Feb 7 to ready the stadium - which hosted the World Cup final in 1987 and a semifinal in 1996.

The CAB chief, himself a former ICC head, also sent a missive to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar requesting him to advise the international body to reconsider its decision. However, the ICC Saturday turned down Manohars appeal.

Apart from the India-England encounter, the Eden Gardens was slated to host three other games — South Africa vs. Ireland (March 15), the Netherlands vs. Ireland (March 18), and Zimbabwe vs. Kenya (March 20).

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