Former India sports minister MS Gill has lashed out at the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) for hosting tournaments like the Indian Premier League. Calling the cricket carnival a "tamasha" he has asked the board to shift the IPL matches out of drought-hit state of Maharashtra.
Gill, who served as the sports minister from April 2008 to May 2009, commented on this issue before the Bombay High Court adjourned the matter related to hosting the matches in Maharashtra to 12 April.
"The drought condition in Maharashtra is so severe that in a few days people in areas like Marathawada will not even have a glass of water to drink. As a former minister and ex-agriculture secretary, I know that several parts of Maharashtra are bone dry and I am amazed that in this situation the BCCI wants to hold these IPL matches", Gill said, as quoted by IBNLive.
"Cricket is no longer a sport and the BCCI has converted it into a serious commercial enterprise. Cricket matches are happening all through 12 months in a year and it is not good for the public and for the children. The BCCI have made the Indian public zombies of cricket."
"Several parts of India face drought situations every year and it's the worst in Maharashtra. In this situation the BCCI have scheduled 20 matches in Maharashtra. A huge amount of water will be required for these matches. The BCCI should have some sanity in their thinking and they should shift these IPL matches out of Maharashtra."
"They can hold these IPL matches in states like Haryana, Punjab or Uttar Pradesh where the problem of water scarcity is not that big an issue. In any case, this IPL is a tamasha and it is not serving the game of cricket. The Romans gave the world the gladiators fight and now the BCCI has given the Indian public this tamasha called the IPL. It is nothing but a purely commercial event meant for money making."
In total, 20 matches are scheduled to be held in Maharashtra in the ninth edition of the IPL. Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will host eight matches, including the tournament opener on 9 April and the final on 29 May. Nine matches will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune while three matches will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.