An advocate has approached the Bombay High Court challenging the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE this year instead of India.
The petition, filed by Pune-based advocate Abhishek Lagoo, said if the IPL is held outside India it would cause huge economic and revenue loss to the country.
Lagoo, who in his plea claimed to be an ardent cricket fan, said the IPL is the most popular T20 cricket league and its brand value in 2019 was Rs 475 billion and is the main revenue earner for the BCCI.
The petition is expected to heard by a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Revati Mohite Dere on August 18.
This years IPL matches were to begin in March but were postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BCCI, on August 2, said the IPL would be held between September 19 and November 10 at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dabhi stadiums in the UAE subject to necessary clearance from the Government of India
The IPL has, over the years, become a major economic activity in India and boosts various sectors, generates employment, increases business volume, the petition said.
If the IPL is played outside India, there will be huge revenue loss for the Government of India in terms of logistics, tourists, advertisers and so on. The IPL is not a charity event, the plea said.
The pandemic has created grave difficulties for all businesses, it said.
Holding the IPL in India would prove to be a great economic booster which the country needs desperately, the petition said.
The plea added that the central government has from time to time granted relaxations in the lockdown and allowed reopening of gardens, malls and other public places.
Hence, it would not be harmful if the IPL matches are conducted in India with proper precautions and safety measures, the petition said.
Lagoo, in his plea, has sought the high court to direct the BCCI to hold the IPL matches in India.