Sri Lanka board ex-chief urges Pawar to reconsider Eden

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - Sri Lankan cricket board’s former president Thilanga Sumathipala has requested International Cricket Council (ICC) president Sharad Pawar to reconsider Kolkata’s Eden Gardens stadium as the venue of the World Cup match between India and England.

In a letter to Pawar, Sumathipala, who was the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president during the 1996 World Cup, said: “The chief organising committee of the ICC must make every endeavour to make play possible at the Eden Gardens rather than finding a way not to play. We Sri Lankans are willing to put 100 percent support behind the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and request the ICC to reconsider its decision.”

“We Sri Lankans have some great memories of the support that we got during the difficult times in 1996 when Australia and West Indies refused to come to Sri Lanka due to security concerns. It was then that India and Pakistan showed their solidarity by forming a Pilcom XI to show how safe Sri Lanka was to play cricket. Playing at Eden Gardens is the pride for any Indian and international cricketer,” he said.

Last week the ICC ruled that Eden Gardens was 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.

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