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IPL 2023 will begin on March 31, with defending champions Gujarat Titans taking on Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad, as the league returns to its traditional home-and-away format in India for the first time since 2019. The final will also be held in Ahmedabad, on May 28.
The IPL is set to begin five days after the final of the inaugural Women’s Premier League on March 26, and the opening weekend will have all ten teams in action: after Titans play CSK on Friday, Punjab Kings take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Mohali, and Lucknow Super Giants play Delhi Capitals in Lucknow on Saturday (April 1); and Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Rajasthan Royals in Hyderabad, and Royal Challengers Bangalore play Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru on Sunday (April 2).
The schedule for the four playoff matches has not been announced yet, apart from Ahmedabad being identified as the venue for the title clash.
The teams have been divided into two groups like last season. Group A has Mumbai, Knight Riders, Royals, Capitals and Super Giants, while Group B has Super Kings, Royal Challengers, Titans, Kings and Sunrisers. But unlike last season, each team will play the five teams of the other group twice and the other four from their own group once, making it 14 league games per team.
The league phase comprises 70 matches across 52 days from March 31 to May 21, spanning 12 cities, and will feature 18 double-headers. In addition to the ten regular venues – Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Mohali – some matches will be played in Guwahati (Royals’ second home), and Dharamsala (Kings’ second home).
Royals will play their first two home games in Guwahati and the remaining five in Jaipur. Kings, on the other hand, will play their first five home matches in Mohali and their last two home games in Dharamsala.
Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings in 1000th IPL game
There will be a total of 18 double-headers during the league phase – every Saturday and Sunday. The two most successful teams in the history of the IPL, Mumbai and Super Kings, will meet twice, on April 8 and May 6, with the second of those fixtures the 1000th match in the IPL since its inception in 2008. Super Kings, meanwhile, would be returning to their original home at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, or Chepauk, in Chennai.
IPL 2019 was the last time that the league was played across all the traditional venues in India. In 2020, the tournament had to be postponed from the March-May window to September-November and moved to the UAE because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021, there was an attempt to play in the Indian summer but a breach of the bio-secure bubble led to the season being interrupted midway, and the second half of the season resumed in the UAE in September. In 2022, the tournament was played in the March-May window in India, but the entire league phase was played at venues in Mumbai and Pune, and the playoffs and final in Kolkata and Ahmedabad.