The Eden Gardens Fiasco

When India’s plans for the Commonwealth Games ran into trouble, I didn’t mind as much as most people. For one thing, the Games were an extraordinarily complex endeavor, and its relative worth (among sports competitions, that is) didn’t seem all that high. But I reserve a special level of rage for the news that the Eden Gardens stadium is still not match-ready, despite months of renovations and warnings (and with less than a month to go before the first match there).

Cricket isn’t like track or soccer or tennis; in India, it’s the only game in town. People are making billions of dollars and there are hundreds of millions of fans in an ever-burgeoning market. And yet, we are saddled with administrators like J. Dalmiya, who says he’s shocked and surprised by the ICC’s move. Instead, he offered to have the stadium ready by Feb. 7. I’m sorry, but in what world is it OK to suggest a deadline less than two weeks before an event that is been on the schedule for at least four years?

I do not — do not — want to read anyone opine on what this says about India’s reputation. At some level, the mindless jingoistic hysteria that has gripped the middle-classes lately serves a point: it can be used to routinely shame leaders to act for the sake of national honor (as opposed to self-interest, or other parochial claims). But I’m starting to worry that this sentiment also clouds any plan for tangible action. Rather than waste words on what this latest fiasco says about the Indian identity or self -image, I’d like to know what punishments will be meted out; whether or not Dalmiya deserves to have his place on the Cricket Association of Bengal; whether urgent reform is needed at the state and national cricket level to secure better facilities.

Help me out, here.

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4 thoughts on “The Eden Gardens Fiasco

  1. Golandaaz says:

    The India-England game will eventually be played at the Eden Gardens. I am not sure how but I am backing Dalmiya to get the BCCI to buy in. Once BCCI is in the game, what the ICC says won’t matter much

    The problem here is for some reason the CAB and the BCCI are not collaborating

  2. Gol, the reason is quite simple actually. Jagmohan Dalmiya is not from the Shashank Manohar camp, and therefore, he will need to make some big under the table promises to get BCCI on his side.

    But disregarding the politics in this, I must applaud the ICC for taking this step. It might just avoid the fiasco that occurred in the lead up to the CWG if ICC manages to be strong enough to see their decision through. I have mentioned my thoughts here – http://cricsis.blogspot.com/2011/01/disappointed-about-eden-gardens-but.html

  3. girisopinion says:

    All the cricket grounds had ample time to get their stadiums ready. If Eden is not upto acceptable standards than so be it. They should not get the game period. This just shows how lethargic and careless they have been. The World Cup begins in 20 days and having the stadium not ready is a crime.

    BCCI being the richest board in the world needs to be ashamed with this effort by the CAB. Its not as if Eden gets too many cricket games, so I don’t see any excuses this time. I guess taking the game out of Eden is punishment enough for the authorities to realise their mistake.

  4. Binu E says:

    It is annoying to hear all the blame game after the damage has been done. The interesting thing is no one from CAB or BCCI stood up to say, ‘I told you so’. That suggests that everyone responsible for this fiasco was well aware that matters well behind schedule and trusted BCCI’s money and muscle power to twist ICC’s deadline.
    I admire Haroon Logart and crew for standing up to this crap. It is a WC and certain requirements have to be met. Unfortunately the people responsible here were too stupid to realize that.

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