Mumbai to take on KKR in IPL opener in UAE; Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah to be the venues
The first phase of the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League will be held in the UAE from April 16 to 30 while the second phase could be staged in India from the first week of May despite the clash of dates with the general elections. These were among the key decisions taken at a meeting between the IPL’s governing council and the franchises here on Wednesday.
In a press release, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said: “Pursuant to the initiative taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs, many State Governments have indicated that IPL matches can be conducted in their States. Based on the responses received so far, the BCCI believes that the IPL can be conducted in India from the first week of May.”
It is learnt that the BCCI is considering venues in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Odisha, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Kochi and Chennai, pending clearance.
It was revealed that the first phase would have 20 matches in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 16 to 30. The opening match will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 16 between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
According to the schedule released by the IPL, five of the 15 days in the first phase will be double-headers played over the weekends. The first match will start at 4 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m. (both IST).
The schedule has been chalked out in order to allow each of the eight franchises to play at least once in all three cities, and also feature in at least one of the double-header weekends. Abu Dhabi and Dubai will host seven matches each while six games will be held in Sharjah.