Maha drought: Bombay HC gives green light for May 1 IPL match in Pune

Mumbai: Spelling relief for the BCCI, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed it to hold the May 1 Indian Premier League match between Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians in Pune.

The decision by a division bench comprising Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Karnik came a week after the court had directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift all scheduled matches after April 30 from parched Maharashtra to other venues.

Hearing an application filed by the BCCI general manager Ratnakar Shetty urging the court to permit the May 1 match in Pune as scheduled on logistical and other difficulties in shifting to an alternate venue.

Shetty's application said the Rising Pune Supergiants was scheduled to play a match with Gujarat Lions on April 29 in Pune.

Hence, it would be "practically impossible" for BCCI and its Pune franchisee to shift the scheduled May 1 contest (between Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians) to another venue out of the state and make all arrangement within just a day.

The application followed the court ruling of April 13 asking BCCI to shift its 13 matches scheduled from May onwards out of Maharashtra to prevent wastage of huge quantities of water in the drought-hit state.

"As an exception and due to logistical reasons mentioned by BCCI in the application, we are allowing the match to be held in Pune on May 1," the judges said.

Shetty's application contended that the request was "bonafide and is being made in the interest of justice" and it it was not granted then severe prejudice, grave hardships and irreparable damage and injury would be caused to BCCI and its Pune franchisee.

He pointed out that if the May 1 match was to be shifted to a venue out of Maharashtra, the teams and their crew would be able to travel on on afternoon of April 30 as the match previous evening (April 29) would get over late at night.