Ending the uncertainty around the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the BCCI on Sunday announced the schedule of the cash-rich T20 cricket league. "After nearly two years, the IPL extravaganza will return home," the Indian cricket board said in a release. (More Cricket News)
As speculated earlier, the tournament will be held in six venues -- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Meaning, all the matches will be held in 'neutral' venues as there will be no designated home grounds.
The 2020 edition of the world's most popular cricket league was held in the United Arab Emirates due to the raging coronavirus pandemic in India.
The season will start on April 9 in Chennai with a high octane clash between Rohit Sharma's defending champions Mumbai Indians and Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore. "The World’s Largest Cricket Stadium - Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the Playoffs as well as the final on 30th May, 2021 which promises to be a visual spectacle," added the release.
As reported earlier, the tournament starts after the end of ongoing India vs England series. The Test leg completed on Saturday, with India winning the fourth and final match by an innings and 25 runs for 3-1 victory, and Kohli &b Co have qualified for the ICC World Test Championship final.
The two teams will now face off in a five-match T20I series, starting Friday (March 12). All the matches will be played at Narendra Modi Stadium, where the final two Test matches were played.
The ODI leg, comprising three matches, will be played in Pune. It starts on March 23.
The IPL Governing Council also said that fixtures "have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk."
There will be many firsts this season. And following is what we know so far:
- The season will witness 56 league matches.
- Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage.
-Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each.
- Ahmedabad and Delhi will host 8 matches each.
- No teams will play at their home ground.
- All teams will play at 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage.
- There will be a total of 11 double headers.
- Six teams will play three afternoon matches and two teams will play two such matches.
- Afternoon games start at 3:30 PM IST, while evening games will have a 7:30 PM IST start.
And most importantly, what about in-stadia attendance for fans?
To begin with, it will be played behind closed doors. But a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament.
With that's here's a look at the fixtures:
Check full squads (with their latest recruits):
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun CV, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna
Latest recruits: Shakib Al Hasan (INR 3.20 Cr), Sheldon Jackson (INR 20 L), Vaibhav Arora (INR 20 L), Karun Nair (INR 50 L), Harbhajan Singh (INR 2 Cr), Ben Cutting (INR 75 L), Venkatesh Iyer (INR 20 L), Pawan Negi (INR 50 L)
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare (wk), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan
Latest recruits: Adam Milne (INR 3.20 Cr), Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 5 cr), Piyush Chawla (INR 2.40 Cr), James Neesham (INR 50 L), Yudhvir Charak (INR 20 L), Marco Jansen (INR 20 L), Arjun Tendulkar (INR 20 L)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Josh Philippe (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel
Latest recruits: Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 Cr), Sachin Baby (INR 20 L), Rajat Patidar (INR 20 L), Mohammed Azharuddeen (INR 20 L), Kyle Jamieson (INR 15 Cr), Daniel Christian (INR 4.80 cr), Suyash Prabhudessai (INR 20 L), K.S. Bharat (INR 20 L)
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c & wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
Latest recruits: Shivam Dube (INR 4.40 Cr), Chris Morris (INR 16.25 cr), Mustafizur Rahman (INR 1 cr), Chetan Sakariya (INR 1.20 Cr), KC Cariappa (INR 20 L), Liam Livingstone (INR 75 L), Kuldip Yadav (INR 20 L), Akash Singh (INR 20 L)
Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N. Jagadeesan (wk), Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, R. Sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, KM Asif
Latest recruits: Moeen Ali (INR 7 Cr), K Gowtham (INR 9.25 Cr), Cheteshwar Pujara (INR 50 L), M Harisankar Reddy (INR 20 L), K. Bhagath Varma (INR 20 L), C Hari Nishanth (INR 20 L)
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan
Latest recruits: Steve Smith (INR 2.20 Cr), Umesh Yadav (INR 1 cr), Ripal Patel (INR 20 L), Vishnu Vinod (INR 20 L), Lukman Meriwala (INR 20 L), M Siddarth (INR 20 L), Tom Curran (INR 5.25 Cr), Sam Billings (INR 2 Cr)
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan
Latest recruits: Dawid Malan (INR 1.5 cr), Jhye Richardson (INR 14 cr), Shahrukh Khan (INR 5.25 cr), Riley Meredith (INR 8 cr), Moises Henriques (INR 4.20 Cr), Jalaj Saxena (INR 30 L), Utkarsh Singh (INR 20 L), Fabian Allen (INR 75 L), Saurabh Kumar (INR 20 L)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Sreevats Goswami (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi
Latest recruits: Jagadeesha Suchith (INR 30 L), Kedar Jadhav (INR 2 Cr), Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (INR 1.50 Cr)