‘People More Important Or IPL?’ Court Raps Mumbai Cricket Body

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Mumbai: Three days before the Indian Premier League begins, the Bombay High Court has reprimanded Maharashtra’s cricket body for the many litres of water it will use to prepare pitches for the cricket tournament at a time when large parts of the state are reeling under drought.

“How can you waste water like this? Are people more important or IPL? How can you be so careless,” the court said, adding, “This is criminal wastage. You know the situation in Maharashtra.” The Maharashtra Cricket Association has argued that it purchases water for its use and also that this water is non-potable or water you cannot drink.

“Only if water supply to BCCI is cut will you understand,” said the High Court, suggesting that IPL matches be shifted to other states which do not face a shortage of water. It also ordered the state government to act against such waste of water and inform it of the steps it plans to take. The court will continue hearing on a petition against the watering of pitches in the parched state tomorrow.

This year’s IPL begins with a star-studded opening ceremony on Friday evening. Matches will begin on Saturday, April 9. “Our sentiments are with drought-affected Marathwada. But some litres of water needed for two-three grounds will not solve the water problem. Matches will continue as per schedule,” IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said yesterday.
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At least 19 matches are scheduled to be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Pune and Nagpur are part of the Marathwada region, worst hit by drought.

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