Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening encounter of the 12th Indian Premier League for which a provisional two-week schedule was announced by the BCCI on Tuesday.
The opening game has been scheduled for March 23 in Chennai, the BCCI announced in its schedule comprising 17 games. The IPL will be off to an earlier-than-usual start this year owing to the general elections, dates of which are yet to be announced. Any change in the provisional itinerary — from March 23 to April 5 — will be revised accordingly.
“These are still subject to the announcement of the Lok Sabha 2019 election dates. Once these have been released, the BCCI will address any issues with the first two weeks and will also prepare a schedule for the remainder of the season working with the local authorities around the polling dates,” read an official statement from the IPL.
On March 24, Kolkata Knight Riders will host Sunrisers Hyderabad in the afternoon encounter of a double header in which Mumbai Indians will take on Delhi Capitals in Mumbai.
Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab will meet each other in Jaipur to complete the first round of games. A total of 17 matches will be played during this two-week phase across the 8 home venues of the respective franchises.
All teams will play a minimum of four games with Delhi Capitals and RCB competing in five matches each during this time. Every side will play a minimum of two home and two away matches except for Delhi and RCB. While Delhi will compete in three home games, RCB will play an equal number of away encounters.
While the weekends will have double-headers but the schedule doesn’t clarify whether the BCCI will continue with the usual 4pm (afternoon) and 8 pm (evening) format or there will be a change in timing.
March 23: CSK vs RCB (Chennai)
March 24: KKR vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Kolkata, Afternoon Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals (Mumbai, Evening)
March 25: Rajasthan Royals vs KXIP (Jaipur)
March 26: Delhi Capitals vs CSK (Delhi)
March 27: KKR vs KXIP (Kolkata)
March 28: RCB vs MI (Bengaluru)
March 29: Sunrisers vs Rajasthan Royals (Hyderabad)
March 30: KXIP vs MI (Mohali, Afternoon) Delhi Capitals vs KKR (Delhi, Evening)
March 31: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs RCB (Hyderabad, Afternoon) CSK vs Rajasthan Royals (Chennai, Evening)
April 1: KXIP vs Delhi Capitals (Mohali)
April 2: Rajasthan Royals vs RCB (Jaipur)
April 3: MI vs CSK (Mumbai)
April 4: Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Delhi)
April 5: RCB vs KKR (Bengaluru).