Bengal PWD steps in to get Eden ready by Feb 7

Kolkata: With ICC president Sharad Pawar reportedly setting February 7 as the deadline to prepare Eden Gardens for the India-England World Cup match, the West Bengal PWD on Sunday stepped in to help the Cricket Association of Bengal complete the work within the deadline.

"Yesterday (CAB president) Jagmohan Dalmiya requested me to involve PWD in the work for preparing infrastructure. A team of engineers will visit the site today to see what needs to be done," PWD minister Kshiti Goswami told newsmen.

Stating that his department could step in earlier, if requested, he said, "Maybe those who were entrusted with the work had felt that they would be able to complete it in time. But somehow, there had been a failure. So we have stepped in from today."

The group B match between India and England was originally scheduled at the Eden Gardens for February 27. But on January 27, the ICC ruled out Kolkata as a host venue after its inspection team deemed the stadium unfit and expressed strong concern about various facilities in the ground being ready in time for the game.

Goswami expressed confidence that the work would be completed within the deadline and said there would be no problem in holding the match thereafter.

"Pranab Mukherjee has also said that he would do something (about the matter). Of course, what he will do is upto him," Goswami said.

Meanwhile, the CAB offices opened earlier than usual with its officials saying they were waiting for a formal communique from the ICC regarding the deadline.

Work was on in full swing and additional workers have been pressed in, they said.