No IPL matches in drought-hit M'rashtra after April 30: HC

     
April 13, 2016

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court ruled on Wednesday that Maharashtra cannot host any Indian Premier League matches after April 30. The order meant that 13 matches scheduled to be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur next month will have to be shifted out.

According to the court, if the water that is to be used to maintain cricket pitches is diverted to drought-affected areas of the State, the water crisis in those areas can be solved to some extent.

The court said during the hearing of PIL on IPL matches, “Matches scheduled until 30th April can be held in Maharashtra. After that all the IPL matches to be held outside the State.”

“Shifting IPL matches wont solve the problem but if water is diverted to drought- hit areas problem can be solved to some extent,” the court said.

"We will be studying the judgement. We are yet to get a written judgement. The moment we get that in written, the BCCI president, secretary and other office bearers will be discussing and will be making the alternative plan," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told the media here. "The BCCI will work on alternative plan," Shukla said.

The BCCI told the court earlier that it will not be feasible to shift IPL matches out of Pune. The franchises of Mumbai and Pune teams are willing to contribute Rs 5 crore towards the Chief Minister's drought relief fund, it said.

A bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik was hearing a PIL by NGO Loksatta Movement challenging use of large quantities of water in stadiums while the State was facing severe drought.

The Pune franchise told the court, "We have already invested a lot of money. Shifting matches at this stage will not only affect the finances, but if the home team's game is shifted to another state, it will lose support."

Advocate General Rohit Deo appearing for the Government said that if drinking water is not being misused then the Government has nothing against the IPL. The Government would not be in favour of shifting the IPL matches out of Maharashtra if non-potable water is being used to maintain the pitches, he added.

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