Cricket is a religion in India. And the First Division League (IPL), the annual national tournament, has millions of followers. The IPL is the league with the most assistance in the world, and is ranked sixth among the leagues of all sports. It is also a sector that moves one billion dollars a year with the signings, the glamorous publicity and the events, promotions and media spectacles.
The Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI) is responsible for organizing the IPL matches, which are played in stadiums across the country. According to international rules, it takes 300 000 liters of water to maintain a cricket ground in the required conditions.
The problem is that the Indian state of Maharashtra is going through a severe drought.
The rains have been in short supply in recent years, and the reservoirs have dried up. This year, more than half of the state’s 43,000 villages have been declared a catastrophe zone by drought. In 2015, drought was declared in 14,708 municipalities.
This is why two non-profit organizations , the Loksatta Movement and the Foundation for Democratic Reforms , filed a Public Interest Litigation before the Bombay Supreme Court, arguing that if the IPL complies with international standards, it will be wasted An enormous amount of water in preparing the fields for the meetings planned in Maharashtra in April and May. His petition alleges that it will take about six million liters of water for the maintenance of the fields of the stadiums of Bombay, Pune and Nagpur, the three cities of the state of Maharashtra with equipment in the IPL.
A deadly drought
These recurrent droughts have forced emigration in search of state workers to urban areas. Farmers acquire huge debts, a situation that in 2015 has led to an alarming number of suicides in Maharashtra: about nine farmers took their daily lives.
Of the 23 teams that make up today the cricket league of Catalonia, only two are Indians, one Bangladeshi and the rest of Pakistan. That’s why many did not swallow Masih, an Indian, to lead his beloved sport in Catalonia. Sarwar, however, defends the “human quality” of Masih and puts aside national hatreds. “Some people do not like it because they are Indian , but they are very hardworking and always lend a hand to the community. It has helped me to arrange papers for my family because they speak very well Spanish and Catalan.”
The ultimate goal of Masih and Shabaz is that the International Cricket Council (ICC) recognize Catalonia as a full member. For that, they need to have at least two fixed and regular cricket courts, and for the moment they only have one, the brand new field of Vidreres (Girona), inaugurated in November of 2015. The city council, governed by the PDeCAT, yielded the ground To the Catalan Cricket Federation for ten years. The lack of tradition of this game in the locality was no problem for the field to present itself in society with the greatest possible pomp, christened “the benchmark cricket ground in southern Europe.” In these 14 months, as citizens of Vidreres reveal,
The Government therefore wants cricket to follow the path of hockey skates, whose powerful Catalan team came to participate in international friendly competitions and even managed to win the World Championship B in Macau before the International Skating Federation revoked its admission as Official member. With the difference that instead of Catalan players, the selection of cricket has 100% of Asian members. There is no Spanish in the 23 teams in the Catalan league. As Sarkar says, “the Spaniards stay for a while watching us, take pictures and ask what we are playing, but it is difficult to be encouraged.” The Catalan cricket debuted at a tournament in Malta in 2014 and sent its U17 team to Greece, both very celebrated contests by ERC.