No IPL Matches in Maharashtra from May: HC
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.