BCCI Announces Full Schedule For IPL 2021; RCB To Meet MI In Opener
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BCCI Announces Full Schedule For IPL 2021; RCB To Meet MI In Opener

IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

On Sunday (March 7), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the full schedule for the forthcoming IPL 2021, which is to be held entirely in India. The tournament-opener will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians on April 9.

The Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI has announced amidst the stringent COVID-19 protocols. The last edition was initially postponed and later hosted abroad in the UAE due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in India. Better late than never, the extravagant tournament is now set to return to the country again.

BCCI : IPL
BCCI: Twitter. IPL

BCCI’s IPL Governing Council Reveals Entire Schedule For IPL 14 As Mumbai Indians Will Meet RCB In The Opener

BCCI’s IPL Governing Council on Sunday (March 7) revealed the entire schedule for IPL 14 season, which will be played in six venues namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata amid strict COVID-19 protocols.

As per the itinerary announced, the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will meet defending champions Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians (MI) in the opening encounter on April 9 in Chennai, setting the tone for another memorable season of the premier tournament.

Mumbai Indians with IPL 2020 trophy
Mumbai Indians won the IPL 2020 trophy (Image Credit: IPL)

The world’s largest cricket stadium the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad which recently successfully hosted 2 Tests against England will host the playoffs along with the summit clash, which will be held on May 30.

As per the IPL media advisory, BCCI mentioned that each team will play at four venues. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata & Bengaluru will host 10 matches each, while Ahmedabad and Delhi will get to host 8 matches each. The biggest point is that no team will get to boost home advantage in this edition, adding to their challenges. All teams will play at 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage.

Rohit Sharma Led Mumbai Indians Are The Defending Champions

11 doubleheaders, where 6 teams will play three-afternoon matches & two teams will play two-afternoon matches, will be held in IPL 14 season. The timings will remain the same as it was during IPL 2020. The afternoon games will commence from 3:30 PM IST start whereas the evening games will start from 7:30 PM IST.

In the last edition, the Rohit Sharma-led MI camp won its fifth title overall and will like to defend its trophy again. However, the challenges are set to be at a whole new level with no home-advantage whereas fans might also not be present at the stands due to COVID-19 protocols in the upcoming season.

Moeen Ali, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, Jofra Archer, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Steve Smith, Jason Holder, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Dawid Malan, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Quinton De Kock, Adam Milne, Kieron Pollard are some of the foreigners who will participate in Indian Premier League 2021.

Among Indians, last season’s highest run-scorer KL Rahul will lead newly branded and renamed franchise Punjab Kings while MS Dhoni will captain Chennai Super Kings again for the record 12th time in 14 seasons as CSK were banned in 2016 and 2017.

Suresh Raina who opted out of IPL 2020 will play for CSK while Harbhajan Singh who also opted out will play for new franchise KKR after being released by CSK. Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara will play for the first time after 2014 for CSK.  Umesh Yadav returns to Delhi while Kedar Jadhav has been acquired by Hyderabad.

BCCI-led Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council has proposed that the 2021 edition of the tournament, apropos of the venues it is held across in the country, will not allow spectators at the stadiums.