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MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings won the 16th season of the Indian Premier League. Image Credit: Agencies

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will meet Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening match of the 17th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Chepauk stadium, Chennai, on March 22.

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The first weekend will feature two double headers, beginning with the Punjab Kings hosting the Delhi Capitals on Saturday afternoon, followed by the Kolkata Knight Riders hosting the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the evening. On Sunday afternoon (March 24), the action will shift to Jaipur, where the home team Rajasthan Royals will face the Lucknow Super Giants. Sunday evening will witness the home team Gujarat Titans, the 2022 champions and finalists of the last season going head-to-head with five-time winners Mumbai Indians.

Having chosen to play their first two home matches in Visakhapatnam, the Delhi Capitals will first host the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, March 31 in the port city and will then face the Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue on Wednesday, April 3.

As in the past, the BCCI will work closely with government and security agencies, following all necessary protocols and advisories related to the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections in India. Once the dates for the 18th Lok Sabha elections are announced, the Board will review and address any issues pertaining to the schedule of the first two weeks. Subsequently, the BCCI will work in tandem with local authorities to finalise the schedule for the remainder of the season, taking into account the polling dates.

Ten teams are divided into two groups of five each. In the group stage, each team plays 14 games facing the other four teams in their group two times each (one home and one away game), four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times.

IPL released a part of the schedule comprising the first 21 matches between March 22 and April 7 on Thursday.

The IPL final is expected to be played on May 26.

Meanwhile, senior pacer Mohammed Shami has been ruled out of IPL owing to a left ankle injury, for which he will undergo surgery in the UK, sources said.

The 33-year-old, who is not part of the ongoing Test series against England, last played for India in the ODI World Cup final against Australia in November.

According to sources, Shami was in London in January for ankle treatment. The treatment didn’t help and now he has to go through the surgery. Don’t think he will play in the IPL,” said a source.

IPL schedule: March 22 to April 7

March 22: CSK vs RCB in Chennai

March 23: PBKS vs DC in Mullanpur

March 23: KKR vs SRH in Kolkata

March 24: RR vs LSG in Jaipur

March 24: GT vs MI in Ahmedabad

March 25: RCB vs PBKS in Bengaluru

March 26: CSK vs GT in Chennai

March 27: SRH vs MI in Hyderabad

March 28: RR vs DC in Jaipur

March 29: RCB vs KKR in Bengaluru

March 30: LSG vs PBKS in Lucknow

March 31: GT vs SRH in Ahmedabad

March 31: DC vs CSK in Visakhapatnam

April 1: MI vs RR in Mumbai

April 2: RCB vs LSG in Bengaluru

April 3: DC vs KKR in Visakhapatnam

April 4: GT vs PBKS in Ahmedabad

April 5: SRH vs CSK in Hyderabad

April 6: RR vs RCB in Jaipur

April 7: MI vs DC in Mumbai

April 7: LSG vs GT in Lucknow

With inputs from agencies