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India vs. England not in Eden Gardesn but Bangalore

India vs. England, arguably the biggest match in the first round of the World Cup, has been shunted to Bangalore from Kolkata, a venue switch suggested by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and approved by the International Cricket Council Monday.

“Some people in Kolkata will miss out, but it’s good for Bangalore,” said Rajeev Shukla, spokesman for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Not really words to warm the hearts of folks in Kolkata.

And what about the thousands of fans from outside Kolkata (among them, yours truly) who had bought tickets for a once-in-a-lifetime cricketing experience-India vs. England at Eden Gardens, supposedly one of the most magical venues in world cricket?

These fans, who have demonstrated far greater planning and organizational skills than the Kolkata cricket authorities, will have to cancel flights and hotels and assess whether it’s worth making the trip to Bangalore instead. They can rebook tickets online or get in touch with the Karnataka State Cricket Association, Mr. Shukla said.

“Logistics are being worked out,” he said, before firing a warning; “Yes, there will be some problems.”

Hoteliers in Kolkata will also be miffed at losing out on bookings for one of their biggest weekends, and it looks like they will have to look beyond the BCCI for compensation.

“We don’t cover the tourist side of things,” Mr. Shukla said.

At least Bangalore’s 60,000-seater Chinnaswamy Stadium is ready, and an ICC-approved venue, so there are unlikely to be any further setbacks for supporters who rearrange their plans.

Meanwhile, Eden Gardens is in a race to prepare for the three matches it is still set to host – Ireland vs. South Africa on March 15, Ireland vs. Netherlands on March 18 and Kenya vs. Zimbabwe on March 20. The ICC is scheduled to inspect the stadium again on Feb. 7 to assess whether Eden Gardens has pulled itself together and is ready for these lower profile group games.


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