Eden Gardens is to India what Lord's is to England and the sporting fraternity is shocked and disappointed after the country's mecca of cricket, Eden Gardens lost out on a chance to host the Indian team in the upcoming World Cup.
It will be for the first time that the India cricket team will not be playing at the venue that had hosted the 1987 World Cup final and 1996 World Cup semi-finals after the ICC inspectors found that Eden Gardens was not ready to host February 27-slated marquee India-England match.
Former Bengal captain Deep Dasgupta said that the issue could have been handled in a better way.
"It (Eden Gardens) has a cult status in world cricket. Everyone around the world wants to play in Eden Gardens. It's like Sydney or Lord's," Dasgupta, who handles the cricket operations of new IPL franchise Sahara Pune Warriors, said.
"We all were waiting for more than a year to see India vs England in Eden Gardens. Both the teams are favourites to win the World Cup. So it's disappointing, and very sad," he said.
Out-of-favour India batsman Robin Uthappa, who played in 2007 World Cup, said, "It's one of the finest grounds in the country. Everybody is disheartened, but we need to move on."
It was not just from the cricket fraternity, former Olympians were equally dismayed at the snub meted out to Eden.
Former India footballer P K Banerjee said he wanted to see the match but it would not be possible now.
"Thousands of fans have been deprived and the fault is not theirs. It's really sad. I have not gone to the Eden in the past few years but the match was on my agenda. But it's not possible now," the former India captain said.
Another former India football captain Chuni Goswami, who also played for Bengal in Ranji Trophy, said time was a constraint and felt CAB's planning went horribly wrong.
"We should have given priority to the renovation work. I had a faint idea about the fate of Eden. So I'm disappointed but it is not exactly unexpected. The authorities became over-confident to do everything at a time when they should have done it in parts. Things could have been different had the CAB planned their work better," he said.