Navi Mumbai: A day after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was fine with the IPL moving out of drought-affected Maharashtra, his party colleague and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on Saturday warned that doing so would result in a loss of Rs 100 Cr for the state.
"Maharashtra gains Rs 100 cr from IPL and if the tournament goes out of the state, this will be a loss for the state," Thakur told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
He said the figure was based on a study done by the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) after the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Faced with criticism over significant water usage for IPL pitches, Fadnavis had said on Friday: "We do not have any problem if IPL is shifted from Maharashtra this season. No potable water will be provided for IPL this year."
Thakur suggested the money earned from IPL can be better utilised by the Maharashtra government for tackling drought and buying relief for the affected population.
Maharashtra would be hosting 18 matches, spread across Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, during this year's season of the popular domestic T20 tournament.
Thakur said the Indian cricket board too was very concerned about the water crisis in the state and did not want to use potable water for maintaining grounds.
It is also mulling to adopt drought-hit villages along with the franchises, who have been asked to prepare a report on what else can be done on this front, Thakur said.
The franchises and BCCI will present their side to the Bombay High Court on April 12 during the hearing of a petition on shifting IPL matches out of the state in the wake of water scarcity, he said.
A city-based NGO has petitioned the court challenging the use of over 60 lakh litres of water to maintain pitches and wants IPL matches shifted out given the second successive drought in the state.
Thakur acknowledged the cash-rich tournament has always been dogged by "unwanted controversies" in its nine-year history but stressed the league did a lot of good by helping "talent meet opportunity".
The multi-city event, which is spread over nearly two months, helps the country's youth find right cricket opportunities and also boosts the tourism sector, said the 41- year-old BCCI secretary, who is also a Lok Sabha MP....