IPL 2018: Tournament to kick-off on April 7 with new match timings

Mumbai: The 11th edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held from April 7 to May 27 with revised timings, the IPL Governing Council (GC) announced here on Monday.

Accepting broadcaster Star Sports’ request, the IPL GC, which met here on Monday, has also allowed a shift in the timings of the matches, which will see the 8 p.m. games being advanced by an hour while the 4 p.m. afternoon games have now been pushed to 5.30 p.m. Addressing the media here, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said the tournament opener and final will be played here while the opening ceremony of the tournament will take place here on April 6.

“The broadcaster has requested for change in timings. By and large the GC has accepted it. It gets too late in the night if the game starts at 8 p.m.,” Shukla said.

“As far as the double headers on weekends are concerned. The 4 p.m. game will now be played at 5.30 p.m. There will be an overlap but the broadcaster says it has enough channels to show the games simultaneously,” Shukla added.

At the meeting, it was also decided that Kings XI Punjab will play four of their home games in Mohali and three in Indore.

Commenting on whether Rajasthan Royals, who are returning to the IPL after serving a two-year ban, will play in Jaipur, Shukla said a final call will be taken after the Rajasthan High Court’s hearing on January 24.

“The matter is in court. I think on 24th (Wednesday), the court may dispose off the matter. We are waiting for that. Preference will be given to Jaipur if the stadium is ready and court clears RCA’s status. If that doesn’t happen, the alternate venue will be Pune,” Shukla said.

A total of 578 players including 360 Indians will go under the hammer at the IPL auction in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

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