IPL 2016 news April 13, 2016

Court moves IPL out of Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur in May

ESPNcricinfo staff

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All IPL 2016 matches scheduled in Maharashtra after April 30 must be moved out of the state, the Bombay High Court has ruled. The ruling came after a Public Interest Litigation questioned the hosting of matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur due to a severe drought in Maharashtra.

The ruling affects 13 matches, including the final which was to be held in Mumbai on May 29. Pune will miss out on six matches, including the Eliminator and Qualifier 2, while no games will be held in Nagpur. The state was earlier scheduled to host 20 matches.

Last week, the court had sought an explanation from the BCCI and the three state associations on why water should be "wasted" on hosting the games when the state faced one of its worst ever droughts. The court later allowed the opening match to be held as scheduled in Mumbai on April 9, and asked the Maharashtra state government and Mumbai's civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, to respond on plans to tackle the issue of water shortage. On Tuesday, the court orally asked the BCCI if matches could be shifted out of Pune.

In its defence, the BCCI had stated that less water was used to prepare the ground for an IPL game when compared to an international fixture. The board also stated that it intended to use treated sewage water for ground preparation in Mumbai and Pune. Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants, the franchises based in Mumbai and Pune, had proposed to contribute INR 5 crore to the Maharashtra chief minister's drought relief fund and supply 40 lakh litres of water to drought-hit areas at their own cost.

While the BCCI is mulling its next move, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla has admitted that moving games out of Maharashtra is a logistical problem for the board. He also pointed out that no objections of this kind were raised when Mumbai and Nagpur hosted World T20 matches last month.

"Organising the IPL is a gigantic work. It's not easy. All preparations had been done, completed," Shukla said. "Now shifting the matches will be a problem. So far, we have not got the written order, after we get that, we will study the order and work out an alternative plan. We always respect the court. We need to talk to other franchises. We will have to work it out.

"The key problem is water for farmers, which we are trying to find a solution to. We were willing to give water, contribute to the CM's fund. Now shifting matches will be a problem. If matches are to be shifted, where will they be moved, how will they be moved, all these issues are involved. And this comes after nobody raised an issue about the 24 World T20 matches that were held recently.

"Nobody raised these issues for six months. Whatever was required, we were willing to do. In fact, I would like to point out that a lot many other sports and cultural events are going on in Maharashtra, which also use water and they should also help."

Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, said there was an attempt to create negativity over issues: "We are not using drinking water, we have said that we will use treated sewage water only. How many swimming pools of five-star hotels have been shut? Have people stopped watering their lawns? There is an attempt to create negativity on every issue these days. IPL was to use 0.00038% of water so that shows the requirement was not much."

Ness Wadia, co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab franchise, welcomed the order. Kings XI were scheduled to play three home matches in Nagpur between May 7 and 15, apart from games in Mumbai and Pune on May 13 and 21, respectively. "I'm very happy with this, we welcome this decision," he said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • amit on April 15, 2016, 18:19 GMT

    Why is IPL targeted? Because of the VERY FACT that IPL is TOTALLY OFF-SEASON. Yes, cricket is a game which requires a lot more maintenance and climate/weather has a huge impact on the game itself. IPL is organized off-season. If the area is facing drought problems, then organizing cricket matches and too during off-season and using lots of water is making a mockery of the suffering people. Its not about solving the problem. Its about standing with the affected ones. Being a human, and not mock those suffering. Its as simple as that. And while in the meantime, matches could easily be moved. It has been before. I appeal to all to being human.

  •   Anand Raj on April 15, 2016, 10:12 GMT

    @RAHUL_78 It is not like that , Because of This no matches will be played till end of May the IPl period including local matches, and By June normal Monsoon Will start

  • Adam on April 15, 2016, 9:11 GMT

    JOHNTHEKIWI Well said John. Completely agree with you bud. There lies the difference between a developing country like India compared to most Western countries. Instead of highlighting irrelevant things like history, culture etc, Indians should dig deeper to solve the problem.

  • vinod on April 15, 2016, 7:46 GMT

    Why not interconnect Indian rivers, dear Government & SC/HC, if adequate water is available outside Maharastra for enterntainment Games... pls mind the recent Chennai floods, excessive rain wasted lives

  •   Kailesh Patel on April 15, 2016, 6:37 GMT

    how about entirely stopping all cricket activities in the state and not just the ipl matches .. there are approximately 10 cricket fields in the city of mumbai itself ... they are watered everyday and will be watered even when ipl matches are not being played in the state ..

  • B on April 14, 2016, 19:24 GMT

    TO #SRCRIC & all others supporting the courts decision - Guys please try to be realistic and fair to all. Just moving matches out of IPL will not solve the problem or improve the situation. What on earth are we talking here? Infact we are making fools of ourselves to other countries whose cricketers are taking part in the IPL. Come on ya if you claim that IPL uses a lot of water on its pitches stop other sports too from using water or being conducted. Ask all 5 star hotels to reduce the water usage, swimming pools, politicians, etc, etc, etc,........ I still don't agree with the court's order, we expected a fair verdict from the court BUT it looks like this is not to be. Let's see how far this will go and where it would end

  • johnthekiwi on April 14, 2016, 15:49 GMT

    I'm not a fan of 20:20 franchise cricket but I will watch if there are a few kiwis involved. I'm even less of a fan of heavy-handed government and judiciary though especially when empty gestures and hypocrisy are so obvious. This is akin to applying a band aid to a slashed artery. Drought has been part of the normal cyclical climate pattern of this world for billions of years. There is virtually nothing we can do to stop them happening but what we can do is control the damage. Since I was a kid there wasn't a year when part of NZ and often times huge parts of Oz were not in a drought. In the developed world drought kills livestock and plants. In the emerging world drought also kills people. There are some really tough questions that people of the emerging world need to ask themselves as to why this is so. No amount of vitriol about culture, history or entertainment answers those questions. Maybe the moving of these games is such a vehicle for introspection. It is way overdue.

  • Logan on April 14, 2016, 13:11 GMT

    I think the courts are setting a good example . Water for survival is more important than money for pleasure . This now sets the bench mark for other states in India to follow and also engage the minds of other international sports that use a lot of water, like golf. I like 1 advert that very effective. It says the next world war will not be fought over religious difference , race ,economics , social upheaval and so on , but over access to ordinary water. Save for the human kind to come.

  • jayaesh on April 14, 2016, 11:11 GMT

    Even if IPL matches are not played those grounds will still continue to use same amount of water to for maintenance purposes. IPL has become a convenient punching bag and it is ridiculous to link it with water drought. Where does this end ?? So does one close all five star hotels till starvation is eliminated? Or does one close all fancy apartments till the homeless are provided shelter? Or does one cause blackout in all areas till the areas without electrification are provided power? Does one close all elite schools till all are provided quality education? some please tell me that is this shifting of IPL is nothing more than mere tokenism ...

  • Indian on April 14, 2016, 11:07 GMT

    Judiciary is forgetting its main mandate of delivering justice and dealing with judicial matters. While 2 crore cases are pending in courts,they are pontificating on this case which should have been left to the govt to take care of. And suddenly shifting IPL out of Maharastra will not make any drastic change in the water situation of Maharastra. Problem of Maharastra's water crisis is of access to drinking water not availability of water. And Maharastra will be losing of lot of revenue via ticket sales(taxes on this),hotel business,travel, entertainment tax.

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