No IPL in Maharashtra after April 30

The Bombay High Court has directed the BCCI to shift all Indian Premier League matches, scheduled to be played after April 30, outside of Maharashtra.

The Bombay High court has directed the state to monitor that no potable water should be used during the matches.   -  Vivek Bendre

The Bombay High Court has directed the BCCI to shift all Indian Premier League matches, scheduled to be played after April 30, outside of Maharashtra.

A division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Karnik has given the BCCI and other cricket associations 15 days to make all arrangements to shift out.

READ: >VENUE CONUNDRUM FOR BCCI AFTER HIGH COURT ORDER

The court said it had expected the cricket associations to come forward on their own and shift all the venues outside the state, but no such decision was taken. The court also directed the state to monitor that no potable water should be used during the matches.

The bench observed that shifting of IPL matches alone won't solve the problem alone, but it can be a beginning so that water used for pitches can be diverted to affected areas.

In its order the court said, “We are disturbed by the stand taken by the state”. It also added: “Can the State turn a blind eye towards the scarcity of water.”

The matter is adjourned for two weeks. The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Loksatta Movement and points out that at a time when the state is reeling through the worst kind of drought in a century and is facing acute shortage of water as the level of water in dams and lakes in the state has gone down, 60 lakhs litres of water is being wasted for maintaining the cricket pitches for the IPL.

Earlier, BCCI had told the Bombay High Court that it was not feasible to shift IPL matches out of Pune, but also stated that franchises of Mumbai and Pune were willing to contribute Rs. 5 crores towards the Chief Minister’s drought relief fund.

Senior counsel Rafiq Dada, appearing for the BCCI, had also said that the board had requested the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) to provide sewage water which, after treatment, could be used for 17 matches of IPL in Mumbai and Pune. Mr. Dada said Kings XI Punjab, a franchise of IPL, was willing to shift three of its matches out of Vidarbha to Mohali, but later backed out and said that they couldn't move matches out of Nagpur as it would be a logistical disaster.