Eden Gardens bids emotional adieu to World Cup
It was the end of World Cup at the historic Eden Gardens and in the eastern region of India, even as the knock-out phase is yet to begin and there may be much more exciting moments left in the showpiece event.cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2011 20:05 IST
It was the end of World Cup at the historic Eden Gardens and in the eastern region of India, even as the knock-out phase is yet to begin and there may be much more exciting moments left in the showpiece event.
The Eden Gardens, which witnessed some of the great moments of World Cup when Australian Allan Border lifted the 1987 Trophy beating Mike Gatting's Englishmen in front of one lakh-plus crowd, hosted its last match in the ongoing edition in a non-descript manner.
With all attention on the high-voltage clash between India and West Indies in Chennai, there was little interest left in the inconsequential World Cup group A encounter between Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Hospitality and administrative staff at the Eden Gardens were seen getting emotional as they clicked photos with the World Cup mascot 'Stumpy'.
"This is the end of World Cup for us. We don't know when the next World Cup happens in India and at our favourite Eden Gardens... maybe after 20 years," Rahul Sharma, a member of the hospitality staff, said emotionally, clicking photos inside the stadium.
The majestic Eden Gardens, second largest after the MCG in Melbourne, was robbed off from the marquee India vs England clash on February 27 after the International Cricket Council found that the venue's renovation work was behind time.
But the Jagmohan Dalmiya-led CAB saw it as a conspiracy and there were non-cricketing reasons behind the move.
Having robbed off the marquee clash, the Eden hosted three matches -- South Africa v Ireland (March 15), Ireland v the Netherlands (March 18) and Zimbabwe v Kenya -- in a quiet manner with empty stands.
In fact the last two fixture were day matches that happened at the venue after a gap of XXX years.
CAB joint-secretary Biswarup Dey said despite not hosting the India vs England clash, the Eden did not lose anything.
"We don't want any certificates from anyone. It's a traditional ground as all know," Dey told PTI, giving today's turn-out as 17,000.
"There are regrets though that we could not host a India match."
The Eden curator, Probir Mukherjee, was at his caustic best.
"It's a shame on the people who took the India match out of Eden Gardens. Remember that Eden Gardens did not lose it's pride ... but it's the people who are responsible for taking the match from here," Mukherjee said.