The Bombay High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) asking it to explain how it plans to make water available for maintaining the ground, when the state is reeling under a severe water shortage.
This comes even as Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) home games during this IPL season have been shifted from Chennai to Pune following protests in Tamil Nadu over the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board.
Citing a water shortage for the Wankhede Stadium before the tournament began, the Maharashtra High Court has now stepped in to prevent matches from happening at Mumbai and Pune.
The notice was issued on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the NGO Loksatta Movement in 2016.
The MCA has been asked to respond to the notice by April 18.
Maharashtra had faced a similar issue during the IPL two years back, when the Bombay HC had ordered to shift all of Mumbai Indians’ home games out of Mumbai and Pune in the month of May.
With CSK scheduled to play their next home game against the Rajasthan Royals on April 20, there is still no word on whether the games will be shifted out of Pune. In case the games are shifted, the alternative venues provided by the BCCI are Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram and Rajkot.
Having played their opener at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, CSK have another six home games left to be played in the tournament.
The conundrum that the IPL organisers along with the Chennai-based franchise find themselves in, started with security issues being raised during the first game held in Chennai.
There were 4,000 policemen present at the stadium to ensure smooth conduct of the match amid protests.
However, during the 8th over in the first half of the match, a fan threw footwear on to the field which landed close to Ravindra Jadeja. Following this, Faf du Plessis appealed to the crowd to calm down.
However, this incident seems to have acted as a trigger, forcing the authorities to shift CSK’s home matches out of Chennai.