IPL to return to India under bio-secure bubble in April

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Indian Premier League (PA)
Indian Premier League (PA)

The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played entirely in India, starting on 9 April to 30 May.

The IPL Governing Council on Sunday announced the schedule for this year's T20 tournament, which will be played across six cities.

SEE full fixtures

The 2020 IPL was moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the Mumbai Indians win their fifth title in November.

This year's season will kickstart on 9 April in Chennai between the reigning champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The World's Largest Cricket Stadium - Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the playoffs as well as the final on 30th May - as it hosts its first ever IPL.

All matches will be played at neutral venues and no team will play at their home venue. All teams will play at 4 out of 6 venues during the league stage. 

Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore will host 10 matches each, while Ahmedabad and Delhi will share eight games each.

"After hosting the tournament safely and successfully in the UAE last year with all safety protocols in place, the BCCI is confident of hosting the IPL at home with health and safety of players and all people involved being paramount," read it's statement.

"The fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk."

This year's IPL will be played behind-closed-doors but the BCCI revealed in the press release that "a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament".

Chinese phone maker Vivo will return as the IPL's lead sponsor after the deal was suspended last year following a deadly border clash between India and China.

At last month's auction, Proteas fast bowler Chris Morris became the most expensive IPL player in history when he was bought by the Rajasthan Royals for $2.25 million (R32.7 million).

Warriors fast bowler Marco Jansen was the only other South African to be bought as the 20-year-old was snapped up by the Mumbai Indians for approximately R40 000.

South Africans at the IPL:

Mumbai Indians - Quinton de Kock, Marco Jansen

Dehli Capital - Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

Chennai Super Kings - Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir

Royal Challengers Bangalore - AB de Villiers

Rajasthan Royals - David Miller, Chris Morris

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