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IPL to start on April 9 with no spectators inside the stadium

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 07, 2021

The VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 will be a TV-only affair to begin with, and will be organised from April 9 to May 30 across six venues. No team will get to play at home venues.

The IPL’s Governing Council announced on Sunday that the first match will be played in Chennai and the final game will be held at Narendra Modi stadium at Ahmedabad.

“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,” Jay Shah, Secretary, BCCI, said in a press statement.

The matches will be played at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. But this has raised concerns among franchisees from States like Punjab and Telangana as they want their home cities to also host their games.

“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,” explained Shah.

Neutral venues

The season will kickstart on April 9 in Chennai with a clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the Playoffs as well as the final on May 30.

Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each, while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host eight matches each. “One of the highlights of this edition of the VIVO IPL will be the fact that all matches will be played at neutral venues, no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at four out of six venues during the league stage,” Shah said.

There will be a total of 11 double headers. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 pm start while the evening games will begin at 7:30 pm.

But spectators will not be allowed inside the stadium for the initial games at least. “The 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,” Shah said.

Published on March 07, 2021

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