The Mumbai Cricket Association on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the Bombay high court’s order to shift Indian Premier League (IPL) matches out of Maharashtra in view of the drought in the state.
The high court on April 13 ordered games of the cash-rich tournament scheduled after April 30 to be moved out of the state, saying claims of financial liabilities made by the organisers could not override the “larger cause of the people” and that the court could “not turn a blind eye to the plight of the people”.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO against holding IPL matches in Maharashtra, where nearly 70% of the state has been declared drought-hit, forcing the government to impose rationing in many parts. The PIL said that as much as 60 lakh litres of water was proposed to be used for maintaining cricket pitches in the three venues that will host the matches.
The order affected 13 matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, including the final schedule for May 29 in Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium. The final was later shifted to Bengaluru.
However, following an appeal from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding the “logistical problems” in moving the game at a short notice, the May 1 match in Pune between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants will go ahead as scheduled.
The Rising Pune Supergiants have opted for Visakhapatnam as an alternate ‘home’ venue, while Mumbai Indians have chosen Jaipur and three of Kings XI Punjab’s home games have been moved from Nagpur to Dharamsala.
The choice of Jaipur, however, has also been contested, with the Rajasthan high court sending a notice to the BCCI asking why IPL matches have been shifted to the state, which is facing its own water crisis.