The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allows IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra scheduled until 30th April and after that all the matches to be held outside Maharashtra.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday said the Pune and Mumbai IPL teams are willing to donate Rs 5 crore each for Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and supply 40 lakh litres to the drought-hit Marathwada region of the state, in its last bid to save the Indian Premier League (IPL) games in Maharashtra.
During the hearing of a petition seeking the cancellation of IPL matches in Maharashtra due to the severe water crisis, the BCCI made a series of offers to salvage the future of 19 games to be played in the state after the Bombay High Court threatened to ban them.
“Latur won’t get water even if we shift the matches out of the state,” the lawyer representing the BCCI told the court.
IPL franchise King XI Punjab, which had earlier expressed its readiness to shift the three matches from Nagpur to Mohali or anywhere as per the court directions, today refused to move the games and hoped the offers made by the BCCI would be acceptable to the court.
The current IPL season was inaugurated on April 9 with the court allowing the first match in Mumbai. Eight more matches are scheduled to be held in Mumbai, nine in Pune and three in Nagpur.
On Tuesday, the court had posed some uncomfortable questions to the BCCI on whether the IPL matches should be played in Maharashtra in view of the grim situation in large parts of the state.
The court had asked whether the BCCI could shift the matches scheduled in Pune, how it would contribute to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and if it was ready to supply the same quantity of water to parched villages in Pune district as it had done for the IPL matches.
BCCI counsel Rafiq Dada informed the high court that it had supplied four million litres of water per day to various cricket stadia for the IPL matches so far and also tied up with the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) to procure treated sewage for matches to be played in Mumbai and Pune.
Dada said that seven-eight water tankers of treated sewage would be supplied daily to the stadia and called for use of treated sewage which otherwise flows into the sea and thus goes waste. The judges asked the RWITC to give an undertaking whether it would supply water for the IPL matches scheduled in Pune.
The Bombay High Court is hearing the PIL filed by NGO Loksatta Movement, challenging the use of large quantities of water by stadiums for the IPL matches when the state was in the grip of severe drought conditions.