BCCI on 7 March announced the schedule for VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 to be held in India. The 2021 season will kick off from 9 April 2021 with defending champions Mumbai Indians facing off against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener.
After nearly two years, the IPL extravaganza will return home with Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata hosting the marquee event. Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, where the Day/Night Test between India and England was played recently, will play host to the Playoff matches and the final on 30 May.
“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 BCCI said in a statement.
A total of 56 league matches will be played with Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru hosting 10 matches each, while eight matches each will be played at Ahmedabad and Delhi’s Arun Jaitley stadium. The season will feature 11 double-headers, with six teams playing three afternoon matches and two playing 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.
“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. The VIVO 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,” the statement further added.
Last year, due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the tournament was moved out and contested in the UAE, the third time the IPL was played outside of India, after 2009 and 2014 (which hosted the first half of the edition).