The schedule for the Indian Premier League 2021 has been announced on Sunday. The IPL season will kick off on April 9 in Chennai, with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore. The final will be played on May 30 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The tournament will be held in six cities – Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
In the 2021 season, each team will play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host eight games each.
The tournament will be initially without the spectators, the Indian cricket board said. “The IPL this year at home will be played behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
“The fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk,” Shah said.
“After hosting the tournament safely and successfully in the UAE last year … the BCCI is confident of hosting the IPL at home with health and safety of players and all people involved being paramount,” he added.
“The season will kickstart on 9th April, 2021 in Chennai with a high-octane clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore,” BCCI said in its release.
“The world’s largest cricket stadium – Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, will host the Playoffs as well as the final on 30th May.”
The stadium will be hosting the IPL matches for the first time.
There will be a total of 11 double headers. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 pm IST start while the evening games will have a 7:30 pm IST start.
“Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata & Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host 8 matches each,” the BCCI release further said.
“One of the highlights of this edition of the IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues, no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage.”
Last year’s edition of the popular Twenty20 competition was held in the United Arab Emirates as India grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.