The Bombay High Court, which allowed the debut match of the IPL to be played at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, has order that the remaining 19 matches in the state be relocated to states that have more water.
To ensure water is not wasted in Maharashtra, only treated sewage water will be used to prep the venues for cricket matches in Mumbai and Pune for the domestic IPL tournament, the court also said the water crisis was now an emergency in Maharashtra and “political will” was needed to resolve it.
Top sources in the cricket body told that five games to be played in Nagpur and Pune are expected to be moved to another venue. Kings XI Punjab is scheduled to play three games in Nagpur, which may now take place in Mohali. Two Pune playoffs are also likely to be moved, the venue for which has not been decided yet. However, the BCCI will ask the court to let the seven Pune games remain in the city.
Large swathes of Maharashtra are dealing with unprecedented drought, and water is in short supply in both cities and villages. “We will use treated sewage water” provided by the famous Turf Club in Mumbai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India .
At their last hearing, the judges had rebuked the organizers, asking if their priority was “games or people dying”. The court had said it was too late then to relocate the opening match, but had said it seems unthinkable to let thousands of litres of water be used to prep pitches when the towns hosting the games are desperate for water.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that “no drinking water or water that is fit for human consumption will be allowed for the games, but also said that if the IPL matches are moved from Maharashtra, it won’t bother me”.