New Delhi: Lashing out at the BCCI for converting Indian public to "zombies of cricket" by foisting tournaments like IPL "tamasha", former Sports Minister MS Gill yesterday asked the Board to have some sanity in its thinking and shift the matches of the lucrative T20 competition out of drought-hit Maharashtra.
Gill, who served as the Union Sports Minister from April 2008 to May 2009 and currently a Rajya Sabha member, was reacting after Bombay High Court raised questions on why water should be "wasted" on hosting IPL matches in Maharashtra when the state is facing one of its worst-ever droughts.
"Cricket is no longer a sport and the BCCI has converted it into a serious commercial enterprise. Cricket matches are happening all through 12 months in a year and it is not good for the public and for the children. They (BCCI) have made the Indian public zombies of cricket," Gill, who also served as Chief Election Commissioner of India between 1996 and 2001, said. Gill added the BCCI should not think that they can do things which are against the general mood of the country.
"Several parts of India face drought situations every year and it’s the worst in Maharashtra. In this situation the BCCI have scheduled 20 matches in Maharashtra. A huge amount of water will be required for these matches. In any case, IPL is a tamasha and it not serving the game of cricket. The Romans gave the world the Gladiators Fight and now BCCI has given the Indian public this tamasha called IPL," he added.