Kolkata:It is the same old story all over again. The Cricket World Cup is just a month away and the organisers are sweating over at least five of the thirteen World Cup stadia. The under renovation stadia are now hoping to be ready by the end of the month. Kolkata's Eden Gardens, which hosts four World Cup matches, is one of them.
Eden Gardens, one of the biggest cricket stadiums in the world, has been beset with problems ever since the renovation work began in September 2009.
Barely had work gone on for four months that the India-South Africa Test match and a month and a half of hosting 7 IPL matches caused delays. Result, it missed its completion deadline of 30th November.
"Many stadiums are newly built like the DY Patil Stadium and the Hyderabad stadium. Eden Gardens is a traditional ground and it is always difficult to
modernise a traditional one. We are maintaining both - tradition and modernisation. The work is in progress and within a month it should be done. But we want one month extra to complete everything," Biswaroop Dey, Secretary, Cricket Association of Bengal, said.
So two months behind schedule with 15 days to go for the deadline. The roof over the stands is not yet ready and the stadium exterior still needs some work. But the pitch & outfield are ready, as are the dressing rooms and the club house. The sad news is that the seating capacity has been cut to 62000.
"It is a bad news for Kolkata cricket fans. There are so many fans but not all will get the tickets," said a disappointed fan.
There is a final inspection scheduled for January 24th. Hopefully, Eden Gardens will not go the Nehru Stadium way, asking for another extension!