Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that he is not worried if the Indian Premier League matches are shifted out of the state due to water shortage. The Bombay High Court has allowed the inaugural match on Saturday even as hearing on a petition demanding the tournament to be shifted continues.
"Water is more important for us than cricket. So, even if the cricket matches are shifted out of Maharashtra, I don't mind," Fadnavis told reporters in Mumbai.
IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla has already ruled out shifting the matches out of Maharashtra on account of the drought and water scarcity.
Several districts of Maharashtra are facing acute water shortage and objections have been raised over the "wastage" of water to maintain cricket grounds across the state. Petitions have been filed against hosting the Indian Premier League in the state at a time when people are finding it tough to arrange water even for their daily needs.
The IPL T20 tournament is set to begin from April 9 with the first match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants 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 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.