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The much-awaited Indian Premier League 2021 full schedule was released by the Indian cricket board (BCCI) a day after India triumph England 3-1 in the four-match Test series in Ahmedabad.
The season opener will see defending champions Mumbai Indians face off with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on April 9 with the final slated in Ahmedabad on May 30.
As per BCCI’s official statement, the league stage matches will be played over six cities — namely Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata — without fans at the stadia and a decision will be reviewed later on allowing spectators at the stadia if the COVID-19 pandemic situation improves.
Giving up on the traditional home-away format when played in India due to pandemic situation, the IPL will be played over three phases with two cities hosting four teams each in every phase in the league stages. The carnival will first be camped in Mumbai and Chennai, then moving to Delhi and Bangalore with the final league stages in Bengaluru and Kolkata.
The qualifiers and the final match then will be played in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.
See the complete schedule
The IPL website said that the first match will be held in Chennai with a high octane clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the world’s largest cricket stadium – will host the playoffs as well as the final on May 30, which promises to be a visual spectacle
BCCI 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 due to coronavirus. The tournament 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.
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The eight competing IPL teams are Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Mumbai Indians are the current two times defending champions, after winning both the 2019 and the 2020 seasons. Kings XI Punjab had announced last month that they have been renamed the Punjab Kings.
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