New Delhi: The Supreme Court today dismissed the Maharashtra and Mumbai Cricket Associations plea challenging a Bombay High Court ruling prohibiting Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in Maharashtra due to drought condition.
The apex court said that except for a match in Pune on May 1, the state will not host any matches of the tournament as it agreed with the Bombay HC’s earlier verdict that ‘matches must be moved out of the state which is dealing with the worst drought in several decades’.
The apex court bench dismissed the plea after taking into account the amount of water that would be needed for watering the cricket grounds for 12 matches scheduled in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune.
The Mumbai High Court had on April 13 barred the holding of 13 IPL matches. Later, it modified its order permitting holding of one match in Nagpur.
The Mumbai Cricket Association and the Maharashtra Cricket Association had approached the Supreme Court last week against the Bombay HC’s April 13 verdict that all IPL matches scheduled to be held in Maharashtra after April 30 should be relocated due to the ongoing water scarcity in the state.
The Special Leave Petition (SLP) jointly submitted by the two cricket associations had urged the top court to allow the original schedule to be retained as they will not use potable water to prepare pitches and for ground maintenance, but will use treated sewage water instead.
The court's decision will affect 13 matches, including two IPL play-offs and the final. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), who were scheduled to play three 'home' matches in Nagpur, have decided to shift the games to Dharamsala. Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, have opted for Jaipur as their new 'home' ground. Rising Pune Supergiants are scheduled to play their remaining home matches in Visakhapatnam. The IPL final, originally slotted to be played in Mumbai on May 29, will now be played in Bengaluru.