The next edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), which will now be a ten-team affair following the addition of Ahmedabad and Lucknow recently, is most likely to begin on April 2 in Chennai.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, the fixtures of the upcoming season have not been finalised yet however, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has internally conveyed to the key stakeholders that the board is planning to start the 16th edition of the lucrative league on April 2 in Chennai.
As the next season will have a total of 74 games, the BCCI has discussed internally that the length of the season will be for over 60 days. As a result, the final could be played in the first weekend of June.
In the revised format, each team will have 14 league games with the current format of seven home and away games each retained.
Meanwhile, as the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are the defending champions, Chepauk stadium will be the obvious choice for the inaugural game however, there is no formal call on whether their opponents will, again, be Mumbai Indians, which has been the case mostly.
Recently, in his speech at CSK’s fourth IPL win celebration event in Chennai, board secretary Jay Shah had said that the IPL will be making a return to India after the entire 2020 season and a half-season of 2021 edition were staged in the UAE due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I know you all are waiting to see the CSK play at Chepauk. Well, the moment is not very far. The 15th season of the IPL will take place in India and it will be more exciting than ever with two new teams joining. We have a mega auction coming up, so it will be interesting to see what the new combinations look like,” Shah had said at the function.
On the other hand, the Mega Auction for the next IPL season will be staged in December and the board secretary expected that the event will be ever more interesting with new combinations.
“We have a mega auction coming up, so it will be interesting to see what the new combinations look like,” Shah had further said.
Earlier on October 25, the BCCI had confirmed that the Sanjeev Goenka-owned RPSG group and international investment firm – CVC Capital – have bagged the ownership rights of the two new franchises of the cash-rich league.
“BCCI is pleased to announce the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed): 1. RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for INR 7090 crores) 2. Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for INR 5625 crores),” the board had said.
This year, the IPL 2021 season was postponed indefinately due to the emergence of multiple Covid-19 positive cases in the tournament’s bio-bubble during the second leg following which, the board had announced to shift the league to the UAE.