Mumbai Indians will certainly miss out on a massive home support towards the later stage in IPL 9 © AFP
Mumbai Indians will certainly miss out on a massive home support towards the later stage in IPL 9 © AFP

The Bombay High Court’s verdict on the IPL 2016 matches that were scheduled in Maharashtra has a lot to read between the lines for those watching from a distance. There are serious doubts remain as to how a certain amount of water — to be used for maintaining grounds in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur for IPL 9 matches — will be of use to those in dire need. But keeping the focus on cricket and its governing body in the country, it can be said for sure that The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) no longer enjoys the freedom it used to a few years ago. And, if any matter related to cricket reaches the doors of Indian courts, the BCCI should not expect any favourable outcome. ALSO READ: IPL 2016 matches after April 30 to be shifted outside Maharashtra, orders Bombay High Court

That Jagmohan Dalmiya slammed Indian government’s dictate to BCCI for helping other sports from its enormous income purse back in 1996 — was a remarkable incident in the history in itself — and it is of little doubt. But the Indian cricket governing body of today — generally perceived as a money-minded house whose masters care little about other important factors — find themselves in a position in which they cannot do much. ALSO READ: BCCI working on alternate plan after Bombay High Court order, says Rajeev Shukla

The BCCI is already under tremendous pressure ever since huge chasms in its system and functioning were exposed in the wake of IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal. If the involvement of IPL team owners in betting brought BCCI worldwide shame, the findings and recommendations of the Justice RM Lodha committee tore apart BCCI’s pride.

All that the BCCI has received from various Indian courts is nothing but embarrassment, be it the Supreme Court or even Bombay High Court. Agreed, that the Bombay High Court was a little too harsh on the recent controversy surrounding IPL 2016 and the severe drought situation in the state of Maharashtra.

But the fact is, there is too little time for the BCCI to decide and act.

It is not yet clear whether BCCI will challenge Bombay High Court’s decision, but they are likely to decide against it. They have just about a fortnight to find new venues where 13 IPL matches — originally scheduled in three cities of Maharashtra — can be moved. Bombay High Court’s directive says post-April IPL matches will not be played in Maharashtra. BCCI have very little time to prepare these new venues, figure out logistics, sell tickets, and most importantly, find fans.

IPL ticket prices soar sky-high when compared to international matches in the country. Still, fans remain kind, or let’s just say, ignorant towards the high prices in order to satisfy their quench for cricket. They pay whatever the organisers ask them to, they do whatever it takes to enter cricket stadiums. In this tough hour, the only respite that BCCI has is the fact that wherever it takes these 13 IPL matches, they will remain houseful.

Caught in between the firing line are the two franchises — Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rising Pune Supergiants (RPSG). They will have their logistics sorted out too; after all, moving a squad of more than 30 men from one city to another is no easy job. And this is just part of the job.

And they are also losing out on frenetic and loyal fans back in their home grounds in the Wankhede and the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

BCCI areet to arrive at solutions that counter Justice RM Lodha committee recommendations. They have had a few meetings but a final decision is yet to be made. BCCI already have too many challenges on its plate, served by the Supreme Court and Justice RM Lodha committee in tandem. The recent ruling is only going to add more to its woes.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)