'Fire broke out, cables got burnt': Ganguly on Eden Gardens accident ahead of World Cup 2023

Aug 11, 2023 10:47 AM IST

Fire broke out at Kolkata's Eden Gardens on Wednesday hours after the revised World Cup 2023 schedule was announced, CAB president Snehasish Ganguly confirmed.

Fire broke out at Kolkata's Eden Gardens stadium on Wednesday hours after the revised schedule of the World Cup 2023 was announced. The iconic venue, which will host five matches of the showpiece event, including the second semifinal, was hit by a late-night travesty when flames engulfed one of the rooms resulting in negotiable damage. The Eden Gardens, home to some of India's most monumental wins over time including the VVS Laxman-Rahul Dravid marathon in the epic 2001 Test against Australia and the 1993 Hero Cup final, is undergoing renovation in order to be fully prepared for the World Cup. The fire was caused because sparks emerging from one of the sauna heaters caught a stack of towels kept nearby, which elevated the fire. Thankfully though, this marginal blip will have no effect on the deadline.

Aerial view of the iconic Eden Gardens.(Getty)
Aerial view of the iconic Eden Gardens.(Getty)

"A fire broke out last night at 11.50 pm. People who were working here saw smoke and then the fire. Immediately, two fire tenders were pressed into action and flames were doused in no time. There was no damage to the dressing room as such. Only some cables were burnt. But certainly, there is no sabotage angle," Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Snehasish Ganguly told reporters on Thursday.

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Eden Gardens is one of the many stadiums that will be requiring touch up ahead of the ICC's biggest cricketing extravaganza. The renovation includes bringing about improvements to the press box, media lounge and corporate boxes. The stadium also underwent renovation ahead of the 2011 World Cup with an approximate of 32 million USD spent on the project. But despite shelling out such gobsmacking amount, CAB could not hold on to the marque clash between India and England after the stadium failed to meet the requirements of the standards set by the ICC. This time around though, Ganguly is not leaving anything to chance.

The CWC 2023 holds utter significance for this iconic stadium, which will be hosting a World Cup semi-final after 27 years – the India vs Sri Lanka semi from the 1996 World Cup was the last instance – and even though Eden was where the gripping India vs Pakistan blockbuster took place during the 2016 World T20, a World Cup knockout game brings a different atmosphere altogether. Eden Gardens has also previously hosted two World Cup finals – 1987 and 2016.

Eden Gardens' World Cup 2023 itinerary

Unlike other venues though, Kolkata will spring into action a lot later. It will host its first World Cup game on October 28 between Bangladesh and the Netherlands, followed by what promises to be an extremely volatile match-up between Pakistan and Bangladesh on the last day of the month. After a five-day gap, India will play South Africa on November 5, before England and Pakistan will headline Kolkata's final league game of CWC '23 on November 11. This is the same game that was originally lined up for November 12, but after CAB reported that security could be a hassle given the match coincides with the Hindu festival of Kali Puja, the match was advanced by a day.

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