Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned over the hullaballoo surrounding IPL venue shifting for staging T20s in drought hit areas of Maharashtra last month. While speaking at a programme in Pune on Saturday, he stated that whether matches are played or not, every ground needs to be watered every day. It is worthwhile to mention here that several IPL matches couldn’t take place this year in drought-hit Maharashtra leading to massive revenue loss to the state.
Narendra Modi was actually in the city to launch Smart City projects across 20 cities in India. While speaking on IPL, he said, “there is water crisis… Sometimes, our media people distort the things way too much, and we cannot even play cricket. Wherever there is a stadium…Whether a cricket match is held or not, the ground needs to be watered 365 days (of the year),” Prime Minister said.
“The country believed that since matches are not being held, so the watering also stopped… Grounds have to be watered for 365 days, that’s how the green cover remains… Otherwise there will be no game in the stadium even after two years… Don’t know from where (they) bring this new philosophy,” he added. Due to the shifting of matches, Maharashtra had to bear a (revenue) loss, Modi said.
Last month, there were almost divergent views regarding staging of IPL matches in parched Maharashtra. Some people wanted complete ban on IPL while some protested against the staging of IPL matches in parched Maharashtra.
For the first time ever, IPL saw such a massive change in its venue schedule. Many IPL matches were initially planned to be held in drought hit Marathwada region of Maharashtra such as Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai but they were later shifted to Vishakhapatnam and Raipur following massive uproar from the general public. Also play offs and final were played outside Maharashtra.