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Indian officials downplay Cricket World Cup final fears

By Harmeet Singh, CNN
The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is scheduled to stage the final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in April.
The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is scheduled to stage the final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in April.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fire officials visit Mumbai cricket stadium and offer suggestions ahead of World Cup
  • Official says fire-safety concerns will be addressed well before the April 2 final
  • India is co-hosting the tournament along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
  • The first of 49 matches takes place in Dhaka on Saturday

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- Indian sports officials have downplayed fire-safety concerns at the venue for the final match of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in Mumbai, promising full compliance well before the April 2 event.

Lalchand Rajput, joint secretary of Mumbai's cricket association, told CNN on Friday that fire inspectors visited the city's Wankhede Stadium two days ago.

He acknowledged they did offer suggested improvements to follow.

"We are working on them. There will be full compliance," Rajput said.

Rajput insisted the venue had already been given a no-objection clearance by Mumbai authorities. He said he was confident the stadium would also get a fire-compliance certificate.

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Indian officials will hope the Mumbai venue does not have the same problems as Kolkata's Eden Gardens, which was stripped of a World Cup match after it failed an inspection by the International Cricket Council due to a delay in construction work. The iconic stadium will still host three games next month.

India is co-hosting the four-yearly tournament along with sub-continent neighbors Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with the opening match taking place in Dhaka on Saturday.

Wankhede Stadium will stage two Group A matches next month, with New Zealand playing Canada on March 13 and the Kiwis again facing Sri Lanka five days later.

The tournament features 14 nations, spread across two round-robin groups, with the top four teams from each qualifying for the quarterfinals.

There will be 48 matches played before the final, which will be a day-night match along with all the other knockout ties.