The biggest annual sporting event in India, the IPL is back this week as the whole nation readies itself for a feast over the next couple of months.
The entertainment value provided by the Indian Premier League is un-debatable but the whole franchise has always been criticized by a number of short-comings.
To start with, IPL has become a front for illegal betting activities that, all over the country, sees millions of rupees change hands every day.
But a recent column from ex-Indian national cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has shed light on yet another problem this sporting event has brought up.
In a column the ex-cricketer and current commentator write for Times of India, Gavaskar commented on a public litigation that is filed in the Bombay high court over the IPL games in Maharashtra.
This blog discusses the issue that was brought up in the litigation.
A significant amount of water is required to keep the grounds used for the competition fresh and available for action and the whole IPL fraternity has been questioned about the need for hosting games in a state that is severely hit by water-drought.
Maharashtra, a state in which farmer suicides is nothing new, will see a number of IPL games played and Gavaskar explained that it is on the organizers that not even a single life is lost due to this project.
The issue of drought is one such where many lives are at stake.”
“I am no expert on ground and pitch preparation and how much water will be consumed by it, nor do I know whether the water that will be saved if the matches are not played can be used to irrigate the lands that have become dry and parched.”
What, however, is without any doubt is that it is the farmers of this country that help put our food on the table and if their lives are at stake, then whatever needs to be done must be done to ensure that not even one life is lost,” Gavaskar wrote in his column.
He also explained that it was never going to be a problem to move the games away from their home grounds and that the clubs will get the compensation they deserve if they play outside their city.
He went on to add that it was important for the organizers to make sure that the main ingredient of an Indian economy, the farmer is not adversely affected by any of the activities involved in the IPL.
“The BCCI… will no doubt do what is in the best interest of the nation.”
There will certainly be losses to the franchises if the games are moved out of their home grounds but, as happened in 2009 and 2014 when the tournament was moved to South Africa and UAE, the franchises will no doubt get compensated”
“It is a small price to pay, for the alternative could well be unnecessary loss of lives of those whose hard work gives us our daily roti and dal,” he added.
However, despite all these allegations, the opening game of the tournament will be played as scheduled while the next hearing on this matter is scheduled for April 12th.
It is important, for a nation like India to find the right balance between their passion-cricket- and their economy- farmers- if they are to enjoy the game without having to worry about its ill-effects.