The venue of the World Cup final had questions raised against it on Tuesday when Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya held a press conference to point out that Wankhede Stadium had failed to host the two mandatory first class matches ahead of the quadrennial event to ‘ascertain the nature of the wickets and outfield’.
The Wankhede, the home venue of the International Cricket Council (ICC) president Sharad Pawar, only hosted two T20 matches involving clubs last month as part of its preparation for the World Cup. The stadium is scheduled to host two group league matches, the first on March 13, along with the final on April 2.
Dalmiya, a former ICC president, has written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the world body's ‘double standard’ in clearing Wankhede while taking away India-England group league match from Eden Gardens because it believed the latter would not be ready in time.
The letter quoted the minutes of a meeting of the World Cup local organising committee held in Nagpur on August 8 last year:
“Each of the venues hosting ICC World Cup matches must stage domestic first class matches of the Board in the month of November and December to ascertain the nature of the wickets and outfield.”
T20 matches at the local level, and that too played in February, do not qualify, added the letter addressed to BCCI secretary N Srinivasan. “Yet, surprisingly, the ICC experts cleared the venue (Wankhede), going beyond their ambit,” Dalmiya wrote.
“The purpose of this note is not to instigate snatching away of matches from any venue on some pretext or the other…the purpose of this note is to point out the double standards of the ICC,” the letter said. Dalmiya had last week hit out at Pawar for his role, as ICC president, in taking away the India-England match from Eden.