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Buddhadeb intervention raises hope for Eden getting back match

Kolkata: West Bengal government is hoping that the India-England World Cup match on February 27 can still be held at the Eden Gardens here after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee`s intervention.

Bhattacharjee yesterday asked two of his ministers to get in touch with former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and put in all possible efforts to bring the match back to the city.

Sources said Bhattacharjee spoke to ICC President Sharad Pawar yesterday requesting him to bring back the match to Eden Gardens.

"Yes, I intervened," was the brief reply of the chief minister today to a question if he had intervened to bring back the February 27 match shifted out of the city due to unpreparedness of the venue.

Bhattacharjee was talking to mediapersons after releasing two books on Rabindra Nath Tagore and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy at the CPI(M) headquarters in the presence of party state secretary Biman Bose.

Sources said Pawar is understood to have assured Bhattacharjee to allow Cricket Association of Bengal to complete work at the Eden Gardens by February 7.

Bhattacharjee, however, did not elaborate on this.

Sports Minister Kanti Ganguly said, "A little ray of hope is found at the end of tunnel" as the chief minister`s intervention had found a "positive response".

"Now it is a challenge for CAB to fully prepare the infrastructure at the Eden Gardens. The state government is ready to extend all cooperation to CAB," he said.

CAB authorities also expressed hope about getting back the match, saying that the venue would be ready by February 7, 20 days ahead of the scheduled match.

CAB President Jagmohan Dalmiya met Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the latter`s residence here last night to discuss the matter.

The move by Dalmiya appears to be an effort by the seasoned cricket administrator to get some help from Mukherjee who can take up the matter with his cabinet colleague.

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