It doesn’t seem too long ago that IPL 2020 ended and a new edition of the tournament is already upon us. The IPL Governing Council announced the schedule for IPL 2021 yesterday. The season will kick off on April 9 in Chennai, with the Mumbai Indians taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, the entire tournament will be played across six venues — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The new season packs a unique twist — none of the eight teams will play a single game in their home ground. Each team will play their league stage matches at four our of the six designated venues not comprising their respective home stadiums. The playoffs and the final will be hosted by the newly unveiled Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad.
The fixtures have been mapped in a way to ensure minimal commute for the teams, thereby minimising risk. Each team will travel only three times during the league stage. The matches will be played behind closed doors to begin with. A call on allowing spectators into the stadiums will be taken at a later stage of the tournament, depending on the COVID-19 scenario in the country.
#VIVOIPL is back in India 🇮🇳 🙌
Time to circle your favorite matches on the calendar 🗓️
Which clashes are you looking forward to the most? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/kp0uG0r9qz
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 7, 2021
The 2020 edition of the IPL was postponed last April due to the pandemic, before being held in the UAE between September and November. The tournament returns home this year, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confident of ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved.