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Blow cricket out of water?

Blow cricket out of water?
Highlights

It is not for nothing that water is revered as the ‘elixir of life.’ A regular consumption of water is required for all living beings to survive. For agricultural purposes, they are like oxygen! Given the importance of water, any shortfall could wreak havoc and result in a situation that spells death, a calamity that has taken a heavy toll of farmers across the country. 

It is not for nothing that water is revered as the ‘elixir of life.’ A regular consumption of water is required for all living beings to survive. For agricultural purposes, they are like oxygen! Given the importance of water, any shortfall could wreak havoc and result in a situation that spells death, a calamity that has taken a heavy toll of farmers across the country.

Right now, the nation is debating about the ongoing ninth edition of Indian Cricket League (IPL) and how it has been taking the farming community to the brink of disaster, particularly in drought-ravaged States like Maharashtra. Cricket, like any cultivable land, needs lakhs and lakhs of litres of water for maintaining pitches and making them match-ready.

Irrespective of whether one is driven by the urge to damn an event like IPL or is invigorated by a real humanitarian consideration, the fact is that a PIL has been admitted in Bombay High Court seeking shifting of matches scheduled to be held in the commercial metropolis, Pune and Nagpur, which between them are due to host 20 matches.

It is a Catch-22 situation that the authorities are confronted with, considering that on the one side there is the very survival of farmers that is at stake, while on the other hand the drought-hit States are to host a sport’s spectacle that the country laps up with open arms. But, of course, it brings about precious revenue to the exchequer.

By giving the green signal to the IPL opener at Mumbai, the Court has perhaps given renewed hope to the Governing Council of IPL, which could have been caught on a sticky wicket if the ruling had gone the other way. Unfortunately, the administrators are playing politics over water. Maharashtra Chief Minister has stated that he has no qualms if the matches are moved out from the State.

In fact, the government had called upon everyone to restrict water use during Holi celebrations in a humane consideration for the citizens in the western part of the State, which was reeling under several water shortage. Calling for shifting of venues has come a tad too late in the day. Judicious use of water, including potable, could be a measure of pragmatic thinking, which seems to be missing from the economic-scientific minds.

It is doubtful if the matches that fetch handsome revenue will be moved out, given that alternative arrangements would be near impossible. One wonders why no one made such demands earlier. When the Union government sought rescheduling of the extravaganza’s second edition as elections were round the corner, the then Commissioner, Lalit Modi, took the IPL to South Africa because he had an ample time to decide upon an alternative.

It would be fair if the State cricket associations can come forward with succour to the PM or the CM’s Relief Fund as a means to mitigate the plight of the farmers. It needs genuine human considerations to help fellow citizens. Whether the administrators have it in them is the million-dollar question.

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