The IPL 2021 schedule was announced and the matches will be played at fewer venues in India due to the coronavirus threat.
The IPL 2021 schedule was finally announced and the tournament will be played in India. This is the first time since 2019 that the IPL will be played in the country after the 2020 edition was forced to be played in the UAE due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of the regular April to May period, the IPL was held in September to November 2020 and behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 situation. The 2021 edition of the tournament, though, will be played at a time when India has recorded over 100,000 deaths due to the coronavirus. However, sporting action is returning to normal in the country, with the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, the ISL as well as England’s tour of India being conducted successfully. On a whole, the last three Tests of the India vs England series saw fans in limited attendance.
Looking at the coronavirus logistics, the BCCI has devised a schedule by which there is not much of travel in the country. The concept of home and away has been set aside with all teams playing in neutral venues, something which the BCCI tried in the Ranji Trophy in the 2017 season. Here is a small explainer on the logistics of IPL 2021 schedule.
IPL 2021 will begin on April 9 and it will end on May 30. The first match will be between five-time champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.
A total of 60 matches will be played. Out of which 56 will be league games and along with four play-off games.
The matches will be held in six cities. Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi, Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru, MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai and the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
There will be no home and away advantage for teams in the 2021 edition of the IPL. All the teams will be playing in neutral venues. Each team will play at only four out of the six venues during the league stage.
There will be a total of 11 double headers in IPL 2021. Thus, there will only be 11 matches that will be played at 3:30 PM IST. All the venues will host at least two day games, with the first game beginning on April 18 in Chennai.
The playoffs and the final will be held at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad. The venue hosted the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, two India vs England Tests and five T20Is.
Jay Shah, the secretary of the BCCI, has said IPL might not see fans in initial stages. However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has indicated that there will be no crowds for the entire IPL.