Expressing his views over a petition against hosting Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Maharashtra, India limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday said the state should look for a long-term solution to solve the water crisis in the drought-affected areas.

Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he did not care if the IPL moves out of Maharashtra as water for the people was of utmost priority.

In reply, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur said shifting IPL matches out of the state could result in a loss of Rs.1 billion to the state exchequer.

“I think people talking about IPL matches should not happen. It’s more momentarily driven than anything else. I think what’s important for us as a county is to see what the long-term solution is and we have to move in that direction,” Dhoni told reporters here.

This year, the BCCI plans to hold around 20 IPL matches in Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur, all cities on the verge of water scarcity.

Last week, the Bombay High Court suggested shifting the IPL matches out of Maharashtra in view of the severe water crisis in many parts of the state.

While it permitted the inaugural IPL match on Saturday in Mumbai, for the remaining matches the court posted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) hearing on April 12.

“If you see, these things are easy when you hear. If five or six or seven IPL matches happen or doesn’t happen, it doesn’t matter too much or change things too much,” the Rising Pune Supergiants skipper said.

“But we have to look at long term solution. We have to look for somehow send water to those areas where there is scarcity. I have seen on the television, a few dams only one or two percent water is left. So we have to look at long term solution,” Dhoni said.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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