Calcutta: Eden Gardens will not host the Kolkata Knight Riders’ match against Mumbai Indians in IPL VII on May 14. The decision was taken after the police conveyed their inability to provide security citing the possibility of a repoll in some constituencies of the state on that day.
This was one of the four matches the Eden was scheduled to host. The May 14 tie has now been moved to Cuttack.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint secretary Subir Ganguly and treasurer Biswarup Dey had two rounds of meetings with senior police officials at Lalbazar on Thursday. Their requests failed to change the stand of the police, who were not willing to take any risk.
The CAB officials had even suggested an alternative date — May 15 — but the police didn’t agree.
“If the Gujarat Cricket Association can host a match at Motera on May 15 at 8 pm, a day before counting, why can’t the city police take the same risk? A negative approach by the state administration led to the match being shifted out of the city,” said a senior CAB official.
“The police dealt with only the ifs and buts… Even requests from Mukul Roy and Madan Mitra failed to change their mind. How can you assume that there will be an untoward incident? We tried our best to convince the police, but they weren’t willing to listen… We even came up with the option of having private securitymen,” added the official.
The police, too, made their stand clear. “We had two rounds of meeting with CAB officials… They had proposed an alternative date, too. The second proposal too could not be worked upon as it is impossible for us to provide security till the election process is over,” said a senior police officer.
The last round of voting in the state would be held on May 12.
Calcutta Police had written to the CAB on Tuesday to postpone the match because of the elections. The CAB wrote to chief secretary Sanjay Mitra seeking “intervention from the highest level”. The CAB officials had even explained to the police that it would be very difficult to shift the match at the last minute.
CAB was hoping that chief minister Mamata Banerjee would intervene and bail them out. But that didn’t happen.
Eden Gardens will host the remaining KKR home matches on May 20, 22 and 24.