New Delhi, Mar 7: The IPL 2021 will run from April 9 to May 30 across six venues with no team getting to play at home, its Governing Council announced on Sunday.
Despite the COVID-19 surge, Mumbai has been named as one of the host cities and the tournament will be held behind closed doors at least in the initial phase of the tournament.
The other venues are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the final on May 30 as well as the play-offs.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the tournament opener in Chennai on April 9. As of Sunday, the BCCI's released schedule for the first four weeks till May 6 during which 33 matches will be played and not a single game has been slotted in Kolkata during the phase as there will be an eight-phase state assembly elections in Bengal.
Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out 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 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage," read an IPL statement.
There will be a total of 11 doubleheaders where six teams will play three-afternoon matches and two teams will play two-afternoon matches. The afternoon games are slated for a 3:30 PM start while the evening games will have a 7:30 PM start.
"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.
"The VIVO 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," the statement read further.
The previous edition was played in the UAE amid the pandemic but since then the COVID-19 situation has improved drastically in India.