How CAB botched up final ICC inspection of Eden
Having lost their face in front of the cricketing fraternity, the blame game has already started in the corridors of Cricket Association of Bengal for the inept manner in which they handled the situation during the January 25 inspection of the Eden Gardens by the ICC team.
It has now come to light that an unprecendented 32 officials mostly without any knowledge about the progress of renovation work accompanied the ICC team. With their distinct lack of knowledge, they made the situation even more messy and damage was waiting to happen.
The most baffling aspect was how Chitrak Mitra, a former joint secretary of the association and in-charge of the stadium renovation work could absent himself on January 25 when he was the one who was aware about every minute detail related to the renovation.
"There were 32 people inside the ground with officials when all you needed was two to three officials who are in the loop. Instead those who were present didn't have an iota of knowledge about what to say and what not to say infront of ICC officials," a former executive functionary, who was one of the few who had attended stadium committee told PTI on Saturday.
It may sound hilarious but the ICC officials were taken to exactly those areas where the construction work was yet to be finished.
"These officials who accompanied the ICC team, took them to all the areas where work was incomplete. They took them to corporate boxes and even to the washrooms. Our officials just played it into their hands", he said.
The allegations are also flying thick and fast against Mitra whose high-handed attitude is believed to have also had an impact in the decision making.
It has been learnt that when ICC team told them to adjust the height of sightscreen to 20 feet, the CAB counter questioned asking the world cricket body to specify how many other venues were doing the same adjustment?
During the final inspection, the CAB officials were also reluctant to divulge how many seats in the corporate boxes will they be releasing for the sponsors.
The CAB gave a logic that they would give 250 Club House tickets including making arrangements in the lower-tier boxes of Dr BC Roy Club House.
"Instead the CAB officials started questioning the ICC officials asking them to come clear whether the match was on or not otherwise they won't come clear on how many corporate boxes they would release from sponsors," a board official said.
If all these weren't enought, CAB officials' so-called throwing caution to the wind was evident when senior IPS officers came for inspecting the security arrangement a week earlier. The team of security personnel had expressed their concerns on a host of issues none of which were addressed by Mitra, who is now failing to come up with any convincing answer.
Former BCCI joint secretary and senior CAB official Goutam Dasgupta conceded that there was laxity on their part too.
"Many people failed to realise that World Cup is now ICC event unlike the 1987 Reliance Cup and 1996 World Cup," Dasgupta said.
Even CAB secretary Biswarup Dey admitted that CAB couldn't handle the situation properly. "If members feel I am the guilty party, I am ready to quit," he said.