Mumbai, Apr 13: Under fire for giving preference to IPL matches over drought-hit farmers, the BCCI on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that it was not feasible to shift IPL matches out of Pune and and Mumbai.
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The board also informed the High Court that franchises of Mumbai and Pune teams are willing to contribute Rs five crore towards the Chief Minister's drought relief fund.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government too agreed to allow hosting IPL matches in the state if there is no misuse of drinking water.
"If there is no misuse of drinking water, then it would not be right to drive away IPL to another state," Maharashtra govt told the HC.
The BCCI spelt out its stand before a bench of Justices VM Kanade and MS Karnik, hearing a PIL by NGO Loksatta Movement challenging use of large quantities of water in stadiums at a time when the state was reeling under severe drought conditions.
BCCI's counsel Rafiq Dada also told the high court that the cricket board is ready to supply over 60 lakh litres of non-potable water to drought-hit areas in Maharashtra free of cost.
He said the water will be supplied in support with Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), Mumbai Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association.
"It would not be feasible to shift matches out of Pune as it will disturb the Pune team's brand value and economic balance," he said.
The franchises of Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants are willing to contribute Rs five crore to the CM's drought relief fund, Dada said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the board officials informed the High Court that all the stadiums in the state will use treated sewage water to maintain pitches and ground turf during IPL matches.
The two teams from Maharashtra i.e. Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians will play a total of 17 matches in Pune and Mumbai. Off these 17 matches 9 will be played in Pune while 8 will be played in Mumbai.