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Cricket fans during the WT20 2016 final between England and West Indies at Eden Gardens, KolkataIANS

Former Sports Minister of India MS Gill has come down heavily on the BCCI and has called the Indian Premier League a 'tamasha'. Gill, a Congress politician, has also thrashed the Indian cricket board on their decision to host the IPL matches in drought-hit Maharashtra.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday gave a go-ahead to the BCCI to host the opening match of IPL 2016 as scheduled between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium.

"Cricket is no longer a sport and the BCCI has converted it into a serious commercial enterprise," Gill was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India. "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," the former Chief Election Commissioner of India added.

He suggested that the BCCI could have thought of hosting the IPL matches in states like Haryana, Punjab or Uttar Pradesh where the problem of water scarcity is moderately less.

"They can hold these IPL matches in states like Haryana, Punjab or Uttar Pradesh where the problem of water scarcity is not that big an issue. In any case, this IPL is a tamasha and it not serving the game of cricket," Gill, 79, said. "The Romans gave the world the Gladiators Fight and now the BCCI has given the Indian public this tamasha called the IPL. It is nothing but a purely commercial event meant for money making," he added.

Meanwhile, India cricket veteran VVS Laxman also commented on the situation and said that the Indian Premier League has played a key role in bringing up talents from across the country and the league has also contributed immensely to the Indian economy.

"This year, because of a bad monsoon, there is a lot of water shortage. Not only for farmers, but throughout the country, there is a lot of water shortage," Laxman told PTI in another report. "I know everyone is looking for negatives as far as IPL is concerned."

"There are a lot of benefits [of the IPL]. It is a game which not only helps youngsters learn from some of the exceptional talent from India, but also all over the world. It also adds to the economy of the country," Laxman, also the mentor of IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad, added.