The IPL Governing Council on Sunday announced the schedule for VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to be held in India. Six venues - Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata - have been selected to host the marquee event which is returning to India after the last edition was held in UAE due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The IPL games will initially be played behind closed doors and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament, the BCCI said.
The season will kickstart on April 9 in Chennai with a high octane clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The world’s largest cricket stadium - Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad - will host the playoffs as well as the final on May 30, 2021 which promises to be a visual spectacle, the BCCI said in a press release.
The newly-built stadium that hosted India’s second Pink Ball fixture at home with great grandeur will host its first ever IPL.
Each team is set to 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 8 matches each.
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.
There will be a total of 11 double headers where 6 teams will play three afternoon matches and two teams will play two afternoon matches. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 PM IST start while the evening games will have a 7:30 PM IST start.
After hosting the tournament safely and successfully in the UAE last year with all safety protocols in place, the BCCI is confident of hosting the IPL at home with health and safety of players and all people involved being paramount, the board said.
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, it said.