Eden Gardens World Cup balls-up

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England were due to play India at Eden Gardens during the World Cup. We were looking forward to it as much as we looked forward to our night on the Belgian beer the other week.

Eden Gardens is massive. World Cup matches featuring India that take place in India are massive. It would have been amazing.

But they couldn’t get the ground ready in time.

It was supposed to be ready at the end of December, but it wasn’t, so the World Cup organisers said: “Ooh, go on then – you can have a few more weeks since as it’s you.”

This generosity spurred those responsible into further inaction and the ground’s still not ready. If they’re anything like us, they spent the time putting the washing up in to soak for a bit.

We would estimate that around 20 per cent of our free time is consumed by putting the washing up in to soak for a bit. We have no idea how this task can possibly take so long.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. to be fair, they only had 5 years to upgrade an existing stadium, a feat that would be impossible by any country. Sri Lanka only had their stadiums approved because of bribing I’m sure.

  2. This is a MASSIVE shock! I can’t believe what I am reading! Some Indian cricket grounds are ALMOST READY for the world cup with over three weeks still to go! They are in serious danger of losing all of the reputation they have built up over the last few years. People are going to start joking that the first C in BCCI stands for Control instead of Cself-serving-useless-divs.

  3. Meh.
    You English folk do not get the idea of how time slows down in India as the final deadline approaches.

    As an Indian, I am proud of this inaction.
    I mean seriously, what kind of Indian finishes the work on time?!

  4. Pavan, ordinarily work is completed by the second final deadline though. We always thought that was the point.

    Obviously we expect the first final deadline to be missed, but this is an outright failure. Our faith in India’s ability to just sort of work everything out has been comprehensively shaken.

  5. King Cricket,

    clearly you have missed the other big thing India hosted recently. The common wealth games. Finished a week before the games began.

    Not saying that is the best way to do things, but you know.. a billion people can get things done pretty quickly if ever there was a enough reason and no time to do so..

    Like a wise man once said,
    “I like deadlines. I like the whoosing sound they make as they fly by”

  6. Today’s announcement was “we’re playing the match in Bengaluru” wasn’t it?

    Think it’s already too late.

  7. I am surprised people don’t realise this is deliberate inaction so the BCCI avoids a repeat of the embarrassment that ensued after India’s loss to Sri Lanka in a WC match sometime in the last century.

  8. Yer wise man was Douglas Adams, Pavan.

    That’s one of my favourite quotes too.

    Personally, I’m an obsessive-compulsive deadline- meeter. Dull, perhaps, but at least on time.

  9. KC, It is regrettable that Indians are required to meet International standards. Dalmiya even more so.

    While I do not disagree with the ICC not taking lightly the issue of the ground being not ready one month before the match, I have grown up in a country that turned its cities (not stadiums mind you, the whole damn city), from dusty bowls of filth to those bordering on world class standards when presenting themselves to foreign leaders (read american presidents), in less than a month, sometimes in less than a week.

    P.S. The first line, I was trying to be sarcastic.

  10. “While I do not disagree with the ICC not taking lightly the issue of the ground being not ready one month before the match”

    triple negative. nailed it!

  11. Pavan

    I was bathing in the majesty of that triple negative but then you had to join me.

    Bathing in your own water, fair enough; bathing in your own majesty, for shame.

  12. Yes we were, Dandy Dan, playing on the fact that no-one in England seemed to have noticed this massive fixture looming.

    Seems they were right to be oblivious. It’s always the best course of action.

  13. KC – If you’re a fan of the Belgian Beer, the Black Lion (on the Manchester/Salford border) is worth a visit – they quite literally have a menu of Belgian beers, starting at 5% and ending in numbers that frankly have no place in front of a percentage sign on a beer bottle.

  14. Duly noted, although we should add that there’s a very similar sounding place at the bottom of our road – the menu sounds identical.

    Problem is, there’s a pub with a crocodile on the ceiling and a ceiling beam that’s been turned into a road bearing matchbox cars before you get to that one. We rarely get past that.

  15. Thanks for the link, Ged. I’d missed that report, filed away as it was under General Incompetance of Cricket Management. The photo must be from file – I don’t remember a day of such good weather recently.

  16. I think should consult ” The Queen’s Hinglish” o great KC
    It say Chalta hai which means ‘it goes’ i.e.flexible attitude.
    Eden Gardens not ready? Arrey bhai,sub chalta hai.Bangalore will do.

  17. Ged,

    Hyderabad has not been named as a world cup venue. Hence it is not even in contention. Personally I’d love it if they hosted matches in Hyderabad though πŸ˜€ (I grew up less than a mile and in fact less than a kilometer, from where the ground is).

    Also to all doubters, here is the latest development.

    P.S. I would never trust everything written in times of India though.

  18. Can’t believe we’re being put in a position where we have to trust the Times of India, but we’ll try.

    Ged emailed us earlier in the week to say that he was going to Hyderabad. Think that had a lot to do with that comment, Pavan.

  19. Ged, Enjoy the city. Have not been home in 3 years πŸ™

    KC, Hyderabad does have one of the best grounds in India (including the facilities). One of the best pitches until the recent India NZ test at least..

  20. Yeah, we nearly went last year, but opted for Bangalore instead.

    Can’t remember our reasoning. Might have been something to do with Bangalore’s reputation as ‘the pub city’.

  21. No, we don’t steer clear of turmoil when travelling. It brings the prices down if nothing else.

    We’ve done the week after bombs in Sri Lanka, during a state of emergency in Nepal and just generally during the time after the September 11th attacks when everyone went mental and assumed that there were going to be attacks on every city that wasn’t their home town for some strange reason.

    The Gujarat riots happened 10 days after we left Ahmedabad before you start thinking that we deliberately seek these things out as a cost-saving measure.

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