Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla said that the league is a global brand which is being "deliberately targeted". Referring to the Bombay High Court order shifting IPL matches out of Maharashtra owing to the drought crisis in the state, Shukla asked why weren't people raising questions over scheduling cricket in the state during the recently concluded World T20.
"I won't say it is a conspiracy, but whoever comes in just hits the IPL. There were 24 matches that were held in Maharashtra just last month during World T20, but nobody raised any issues. Why is IPL being targeted deliberately?" Shukla asked. "The IPL has become a global brand. It's being telecast in 182 countries, the highest figure following Fifa events. It is easy to bring it down. It always attracts publicity and there are a lot of news related to IPL, that's why people think that they should go after the IPL."
Shukla said they are ready to do whatever they can to resolve the water crisis, but shifting the matches will not be a solution. "We are willing to do whatever we can. Will shifting 3-5 matches solve the problem? This is a much bigger issue. The solution is not shifting IPL," he said.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Friday moved Supreme Court against the HC order. "The MCA is the affected party and they have approached the apex court. We are waiting for the verdict," Shukla said.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur had last week suggested that the board may consider holding the IPL abroad in 2017 on account of the various controversies plaguing the league. Shukla said they are yet to take a decision on this. "Shifting the IPL next year is up to the governing council, which will decide whether to move it out of India or not. It becomes very difficult for sponsors as they don't know what to do," he said.