Fearing that the Champions Trophy final may be washed out due to heavy showers in England, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered the ICC to host the final match in Maharashtra’s Marathwada which receives scanty or no rainfall. This decision has been taken after many important matches in this edition of the Champions Trophy were affected by rains.
At present, farmers in Marathwada cannot grow crops due to insufficient water. Due to no other source of employment, they are forced to stay at home and kill time or kill themselves. A lot of questions are now being raised on why a cricket match is being hosted in a place where there is a grave water crisis and farmers are dying of poverty and employment. When we asked Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis about the steps his government is taking to get these farmers employed, he explained, “As a mark of development, we will offer complimentary match passes to the farmers in Marathwada for the Champions Trophy final. On the match day, they won’t have to sit at home and kill time. The cricket match will make them forget their woes for the entire period of eight hours while they watch the match.”
The MET department has predicted that Maharashtra will receive normal rainfall this year and no part of the state will face a drought-like situation. When we questioned why a decision to host the match has been taken despite the forecast, a BCCI official told us, “The decision has been taken only after considering the MET department’s predictions. If it has predicted that the rainfall will be normal, we are sure that there will be no rainfall.”
Shortly after the announcement was made, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza held a press conference where he expressed his disappointment. “Looking at the way we have played so far, I am sure that we will reach the final of the Champions Trophy. In case the final in gets called off in England, we will share the trophy with another team. Now since the venue has been shifted to Marathwada, the match will be certainly played and we won’t even get to share the cup,” he said, hinting foul play against his team.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed also expressed his disappointment. He said, “If we reach the final, Shivsena won’t allow us to play since it is played in India and Team India will win the cup by default. That’s very unfair to us, especially after boys played really well in England.”