Open to Shift­ing IPL Matches Out of State, Says Fad­navis

DROUGHT & GAMES The Bom­bay High Court has al­lowed the in­au­gu­ral match of the IPL to go on as planned on April 9 as all the ar­range­ments have al­ready been made

The Economic Times - - Companies - Rav­iTeja.Sharma@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Ma­ha­rash­tra chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis on Fri­day in­di­cated that he was open to shift­ing matches out of the state, es­pe­cially at a time when there is a drought-like sit­u­a­tion in many ar­eas of the re­gion.

“Wa­ter is more im­por­tant for us than cricket. So, even if the cricket matches are shifted out of Ma­ha­rash­tra, I don't mind,” he said.

He also ruled out sup­ply of potable wa­ter to cricket sta­di­ums in Ma­ha­rash­tra. “Our gov­ern­ment has taken a strong po­si­tion in High Court. We said we will not pro­vide potable wa­ter for IPL matches,” he said. The Bom­bay High Court on Thurs­day al­lowed the in­au­gu­ral match of the IPL to go on as planned on April 9 be­cause ar­range­ments had al­ready been made and the PIL and Nag­pur at a time when there was a drought-like sit­u­a­tion in many parts of the state. The first match of April 9 is be­tween home team Mum­bai In­di­ans and first timers Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants which is owned by busi­ness­man San­jiv Goenka.

The pe­ti­tioner said that 60,000 litres of wa­ter was be­ing used per day to main­tain the ground and pitch at the three Ma­ha­rash­tra sta­di­ums.

Af­ter the open­ing match on Satur­day, the next one be­ing played in Ma­ha­rash­tra is on April 16, in Mum­bai.

There are a to­tal of 20 IPL games to be played in Ma­ha­rash­tra in Mum­bai, Pune and Nag­pur. If these games have to be shifted out of the state, it would mean mone­tary loss to Mum­bai In­di­ans and Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants, which will have to move to a new home city.

Crick­et­ing ex­perts pointed out that many spon­sors have tied up with the teams be­cause of the mar­ket they op­er­ate in, and mov­ing the home ground would cre­ate is­sues for these spon­sors. The Mum­bai team is also likely to lose the most amount of tick­et­ing rev­enues as it has the largest num­ber of cor­po­rate boxes amongst all IPL sta­di­ums. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia sources, the team gets about .₹ 2 crore per match from ticket sales, in­clud­ing sell­ing cor­po­rate boxes. Even other teams that have to come and play in Ma­ha­rash­tra will suf­fer as they have al­ready given ad­vances to air­lines, ho­tels and road trans­port op­er­a­tors in cities they are sched­uled to play in. “All of the lo­gis­tics will have to be re­set,” says the CEO of the IPL team, ask­ing not to be named.

Ma­ha­rash­tra chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis at the ET Awards event in 2014

FILE PHOTO

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