The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, which was postponed in May due to the break out of Covid-19 cases in the bio-bubble, is set to resume from September 19, with the first match being between defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and three-time champs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 19, The match will take place in Dubai. The two teams have already clashed once this season - in Delhi - three days before the IPL was postponed. MI won a high-scoring match by four wickets.
"The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the pandemic, will resume on 19th September in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians," the BCCI said in a media release.
The remaining 31 matches will be shared between the three stadiums in the UAE - Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Dubai is also scheduled to host the IPL 2021 final. BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla had confirmed last month that the IPL will resume on September 19 in the UAE and will conclude on October 15.
According to a report on Cricbuzz, the first doubleheader of the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 will be played on September 25 with Delhi Capitals (DC) taking on Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi and in the second match of the day Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will take on Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Sharjah. A total of seven double-headers will be played.
Qualifier 1 will be played on October 10 in Dubai, followed by the eliminator the next day in Sharjah. Qualifier 2 will be played in Sharjah on October 13, followed by the final in Dubai on October 15.
Only DC and PBKS have played eight games apiece, while the rest of the franchises have played just seven. Dubai will host as many as 13 matches, while Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will host eight and 10 matches respectively.
Two days after the conclusion of the IPL, Oman and UAE are scheduled to host the T20 World Cup. Shukla had said that the little gap between the two tournaments is not an issue.
"There should be no problem with the gap. The first phase of the T20 World Cup will comprise qualifiers [according to BCCI's knowledge]. So the main teams like India and others will get sufficient gaps," said Shukla, who implied that the non-Test-playing nations could be playing the tournament first.