Kolkata venue axed for WC opener

Cricket-loving India suffered a sporting humiliation on Thursday when its most famous ground, Eden Gardens in Kolkata, was declared unfit to host its first fixture of next month’s World Cup.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said another stadium would have to be found to hold the India-England clash on February 27 after a renovation programme at Eden Gardens fell months behind schedule.

“Regrettably, Eden Gardens has not made sufficient progress to justify the level of confidence required to confirm that the venue would be ready in good time,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.

The ICC did not say where the game would be played and said it would face a “challenge” to relocate the game because of last-minute ticketing and travel requirements.

Three other World Cup fixtures, which runs from February 19 to April 2 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, are also scheduled to take place at the ground.