IPL 2021 in UAE: Gulf News readers and experts analyse CSK's IPL final victory over KKR in Dubai
Chennai defeated KKR in last year's final in Dubai Image Credit: IPL

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on fellow finalists of the last season, Kolkata Knight Riders, in the opening match of the Indian Premier League season on March 26 at Wankhede Stadium, the BCCI has confirmed on Sunday while announcing the schedule for the 15th season of the league.

A total number of 70 league matches and four playoff games will be played in 65 days in Mumbai and Pune.

Full fixtures here

In all, 20 matches will be held at both Wankhede Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, plus 15 each at Brabourne and MCA International Stadium in Pune.

The league will stage its first double-header on March 27, starting with a day game at Brabourne where the Delhi Capitals will square off against Mumbai Indians. The DY Patil Stadium will host the clash between Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at night.

The MCA Stadium in Pune will host its first game on March 29 when Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Rajasthan Royals.

Overall, there will be 12 double-headers in total with the first match starting at 2pm UAE time. All evening matches will start at 6pm UAE.

The final game of the new-look group stage will be played between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings on May 22 at Wankhede Stadium.

The schedule for the playoffs and the IPL 2022 final will be announced later.

The 15th iteration runs from March 26-May 29. Last year’s campaign finished in the UAE due to the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

The groups

Group A: Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, and Lucknow Super Giants
Group B: Chennai Super Kings, Sunrises Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, and Gujarat