Happy over the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) getting to host the high-voltage India-Pakistan World Twenty 20 tie, its president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said he was ready to take the challenge, but conceded that ticketing would be an issue.
Addressing the media hours after International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Dave Richardson announced the decision to shift the match from Dharamshala to the eastern city citing security reasons, Ganguly also said he sympathised with the people of the Himachal Pradesh town which lost the game.
“Ready to take on the challenge. It does not make much of a difference. We just have to stage a game. The ground is ready, the stadium is ready. It is just that another team comes and plays. Security will be tight,” he said.
“We are happy with the decision but ticketing will be difficult. Preparation is not a problem, we prepare for every game. Handling tickets will be an issue.
“Pricing will be the same as final. On March 12 we will get the ticket, two days for stamping and also we will have around three days to distribute and sell,” he said.
Ganguly stated that he sympathised with the people of Dharamsala.
“I feel for Himachal, Dharamsala. I sympathise with (BCCI secretary) Anurag (Thakur) and the people of Himachal for what has happened — must be a very sad day for them but with no fault of theirs. It is one of the finest stadiums and it could have hosted this game easily.
“This is an accident which has happened. It has caused inconvenience to the people of Dharamshala. I feel sad for Dharmasala but in 2011 (World Cup), Eden lost matches as well,” he said.
“We are happy at the same time that it (the match) is with us.”
Ganguly said the CAB had requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India that it be allowed to host the match.
“We had requested the BCCI for the match, and we are thankful for them. This (turmoil over Dharamshala would host the game) was going on for a while, so we had requested the BCCI that we have one of the best grounds in the world and the ground is outstanding now. We wanted to have an India game, every other venue has an India game but we don’t have, only the final,” the former India captain said.
Ganguly said the game was awarded to the iconic venue due to Eden’s rich history.
“Criteria is Eden Gardens, logistics is also an issue. It is also due to Eden Garden’s history,” he said.
The 43-year-old said the marquee contest would be a tribute to late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, who helmed the CAB for decades.
“It is a tribute to Jagmohan Dalmiya, he will be smiling from up there. He had given us the final when he was president of the BCCI,” he said.
He also refused to label the India-Pakistan contest as the biggest game in the tournament. “World Cup final is the biggest match,” he asserted.
CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya is said to have played a key role in getting the encounter here.
Speaking to the media he said: “We had mailed to the BCCI stating that we would be there in case of a reschedule. And now they have given it to us.”