No IPL Matches in Ma­ha­rash­tra from May: HC

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

New Delhi: The Bom­bay High Court on Wed­nes­day asked the In­dian cricket board to shift all IPL matches out of drought-hit Ma­ha­rash­tra af­ter April 30, deal­ing a body blow to the In­dian Premier League (IPL).

A di­vi­sion bench of jus­tices VM Kanade and MS Karnik has granted the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI) a fort­night to make ar­range­ments to shift the 13 games, in­clud­ing the fi­nal, that will be af­fected by the or­der. Till April 30, three games will be played in Mum­bai and Pune each. IPL chair­man Ra­jeev Shukla said the board would come up with a strat­egy to help the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment once the writ­ten court or­der was re­ceived, though the move would be dif­fi­cult. He won­dered why the is­sue was not raised in the past six months while prepa­ra­tions for IPL were on. “Many other events are go­ing on. Why should only the IPL suf­fer?” he was quoted as say­ing.

Ness Wa­dia, co-owner of Kings XI Pun­jab, lauded the or­der. “Given the sit­u­a­tion in the state, we need to look af­ter the peo­ple. We have writ­ten to the BCCI on shift­ing the matches sched­uled for May 7 and 9 to Dharam­sala and the one on May 15 to Mo­hali.”

Wa­dia said ex­tra­ne­ous cir­cum­stances oc­cur in any busi­ness. “You have to look af­ter the peo­ple; I think costs and rev­enues come sec­ond. Hav­ing said that, it is not easy to shift (games).”

In con­sid­er­ing al­ter­na­tives, BCCI could look at Kan­pur, In-

13 matches, in­clud­ing the fi­nal, sched­uled to be played in Mum­bai & Pune will have to be moved out of Ma­ha­rash­tra

dore and Ranchi as home grounds for Mum­bai In­di­ans and Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants though board sources pointed out that the teams would prob­a­bly avoid Kan­pur, Ranchi or Visakha­p­at­nam, mainly due to poor air con­nec­tiv­ity.

Pune is likely to re­quest BCCI to make Kolkata their home city.

The court or­der will have a fi­nan­cial im­pact on other teams as well. “We have given ad­vances to air­lines, ho­tels and road trans­port op­er­a­tors in cities we are sched­uled to play in. All that will have to be re­set,” the CEO of an IPL team said, re­quest­ing anonymity.

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