Over a month after the ninth season of IPL had ended, Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally spoke up on the drought issue that was a topic of hot debate in the media, with matches eventually being moved out of Maharashtra.

The Prime Minister questioned the brouhaha over staging of IPL matches in the drought-affected areas, pointing out that cricket grounds are needed to be watered every day, whether a match is played or not.

He was speaking at a programme here where he launched projects under the Smart City mission across 20 cities.

This is his response in full:

There is water crisis today...Sometimes, our media people distort the things way too much, and we cannot even play cricket. Wherever there is a stadium...Whether a cricket match is held or not, the ground needs to be watered 365 days (of the year).
Source: b'Source: AFP'

 "But the country believed it that since matches are not being held, so the watering also stopped...The country believed this.

They (grounds) have to be watered for 365 days, that's how the green cover remains...Otherwise there will be no game in the stadium even after two years...Don't know from where (they) bring this new philosophy.

There was opposition to holding of IPL matches this season in Maharashtra which witnessed a severe drought, and finally some matches had to be shifted elsewhere on the Bombay High Court's order.

Due to the shifting of matches, Maharashtra had to bear a (revenue) loss, the Prime Minister added.

This comes on the heel of BCCI President Anurag Thakur saying moving IPL out of the country is last resort.

Though his response makes a lot of sense, it makes you wonder if he could have spoken up a bit earlier, to provide some perspective to the whole debate.

Featured image source: Reuters

With PTI inputs