Defending champions Mumbai Indians have chosen Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh Stadium as their new home ground for the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League. This was following the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to shift all matches from the state of Maharashtra due to concerns over drought and water wastage.
Jaipur was used as a venue in the IPL and was the home ground of the now suspended Rajasthan Royals. While the Rajasthan state cricket association is under suspension, their venue can still be used. The Rajasthan state team played their home matches of the Ranji Trophy as sanctioned by the BCCI at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.
"We had given Mumbai Indians three options — Jaipur, Kanpur and Raipur. The Mumbai Indians told us that they would like to play their home matches at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur. Accordingly, the IPL and IMG officials will be going to Rajasthan tomorrow in order to speak to the state government", IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told the media, as quoted by DNA.
While Mumbai Indians chose Jaipur, the other franchise from the state of Maharashtra, Pune Supergiants opted for Visakhapatnam as their home ground. According to news sources, Mumbai Indians went for Jaipur as their home ground as it has the experience of hosting IPL matches in the past. Logistical considerations and creation of an easy fan base were also the reasons given for the decision.
Maharashtra's drought situation led to the Supreme Court questioning the BCCI on the logic of playing IPL games in the state, where a minimum of 6 million litres of water is needed to maintain the out-field and the pitches. In total, 20 matches were set to be hosted by the state of Maharashtra. Two matches have already been played in Mumbai so far.