England shocked at World Cup venue change

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The Independent Online

England's players have expressed their disappointment that next month's World Cup match against India has been moved from Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The ICC announced yesterday that the iconic 100,000-capacity stadium would not be ready to host the Group B match, due to be played on February 27, because of concerns over "cricket operations, media, broadcast and sponsorship facilities".

England's match against India had set to be the flagship match at the ground during the group stage, with the new venue yet to be confirmed.

Fast bowler Stuart Broad admitted his disappointment on his Twitter page today, writing: "Shame Eden Gardens not ready for World Cup, our game vs India there would have been special with 100,000+ crowd".

Fellow quick Chris Tremlett said the venue switch was not an ideal situation, and while he did not expect it would unduly effect the team's preparations he felt sympathy for those fans who have already paid to fly out and attend the match.

"Obviously it's not ideal," said Tremlett, who while not part of England's World Cup squad is the most likely bowling replacement following doubts over Tim Bresnan's fitness.

"I think in a few big tournaments there seems to be things that are left to the last minute.

"I'm sure that they'll find ways around it, but it is a shame because I'm sure a lot of people have booked plane tickets and supporters have paid a lot of money to go out there.

"I hope they can sort it out and hopefully it won't affect the team as well.

"Hopefully they can sort that out."

England are currently preparing for Sunday's fifth one-day international against Australia in Brisbane, a match that itself was under threat due to the floods that decimated south Queensland two weeks ago.

A change of venue had been mooted then and Tremlett said with a month to go until the India fixture he expected England would be able to rearrange their plans without disturbing preparations.

"If you expected to be in certain places then possibly it could distract you in some way, but unexpected things happen. Look at the floods that have happened here - this game might not have happened," he added.

"As an international player surprises come along and you just have to deal with it. There are certain distractions but it is just one of those things.

"Whatever is thrown at us we'll take it and wherever we play we'll be there."

Whether the 29-year-old makes the trip to the sub-continent relies most likely on Bresnan's fitness after the Yorkshire all-rounder returned home this week due to a calf complaint.

Team director Andy Flower conceded earlier this week Bresnan faced a race against time to be ready, leaving Tremlett with incentive to perform in the remaining three matches of the current series.

"Unfortunately for me I haven't been picked (in the World Cup squad) but there are still things I can work on, I still feel a part of this one-day team." he said.

"I have reason to work hard in this series.

"There may still be injury so I will be going home after the series and will still be working hard to keep in shape.

"If an injury comes along hopefully I am someone who can come into the squad."