With the D-day for Eden Gardens and the Wankhede Stadium fast approaching, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials can afford to heave a sigh of relief after the International Cricket Council (ICC) lent support to both the staging associations. Two of the most prestigious cricket venues in India have been struggling to get in shape to host the World Cup matches. And with Mumbai set to stage the final on April 2, doubts were raised when the ICC venue committee set an extended deadline of January 25 for completion of work.
"There is a lot of speculation about the venues. I fully assure you we are fully prepared. We are ready to stage this great event that comes once in four years," tournament director Prof Ratnakar Shetty said during an event to mark the 30-day countdown to the World Cup here on Wednesday.
"I want to assure you that all the venues, including Wankhede stadium are fully prepared and are geared up for the event. We will formally have a media presentation after the end of the final round of (ICC) visits on the 25th at the Eden Gardens."
ICC chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat, though not as upbeat as Shetty, was confident things would fall in place before the ICC team's visit to the Wankhede on January 24 and the Eden on 25th.
"I would have been much more satisfied had the stadiums been completed on the due date. But I am not panicking just yet. Prof. Shetty and his team are working quite hard and the final inspections will be held in the next few days," Lorgat said. ICC president Sharad Pawar, who is also the MCA chief, echoed Shetty's sentiments.
"I am wearing two hats. I am wearing the MCA president's (hat) here, so I am absolutely confident that the team that visits the venue will be happy," Pawar said. "They will see what MCA has done is a miracle. And for all spectators, for matches purpose, stadiums and grounds will be absolutely ready."