The first match of the ninth edition of Indian Premier League T20 tournament will be held at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, the Bombay High Court said today. However, a decision on the fate of other matches will be taken later as hearing on a petition against holding Indian Premier League matches in Maharashtra, which is facing severe drought, continues.
During the hearing today, the court slammed the BCCI over wastage of water at a time when several districts of the state were reeling under drought.
“Are you going to maintain gardens and stadiums when people are dying? Is this what you are saying?” the court said.
The IPL tournament is set to begin from April 9 with the first match to be played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. A total of 20 matches will be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
The finals of the tournament scheduled on May 29 will also be held at the Wankhede Stadium.
Hearing a petition filed against use of water for maintaining pitches at cricket stadiums across the state, the court had yesterday rapped the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and suggested shifting the IPL matches.
“You can’t waste water like this. There is more need for water than for your matches. How can you waste water like this? Do you know what is the condition? In Marathwada, people get water only after 4-5 days,” Justice VM Kanade had said. He added that if there was no plan in place to save water then the matches should be moved out of the state.
The advocate representing the MCA said that the pitches are already prepared and water is needed only for maintenance. “And moreover it is not portable water that is used for this purpose. We ourselves are not in charge of holding the matches,” the counsel said.
IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla had yesterday ruled out shifting the matches out of Maharashtra on account of the drought and water scarcity.