51day IPL kicks off on April 7; final at Wankhede
NEW DELHI: The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick off on April 7 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the opening match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. The final, on May 27, will also be played there.
Delhi Daredevils, to be led by Gautam Gambhir, will begin their campaign on April 8 with an afternoon match at Feroz Shah Kotla against Kings XI Punjab. There will be another high-profile clash the same day — between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royals Challengers Bangalore — at the Eden Gardens.
The match timings, which were supposed to shift to 5.30pm and 7pm, remain unchanged.
The ties will begin at 4pm and 8pm as they have over the last 10 editions of the world’s richest T20 league.
The eight-team league and knockout tournament will have 60 matches, with 48 of them starting at 8pm.
IPL’s governing council had last month accepted a request by broadcaster Star Sports to change the timings, but it was learnt that the franchises, who are 50% stakeholders in the revenue model, opposed the revised timings as they had not been consulted.
Most of the franchises have rejigged line-ups this year. Ben Stokes (Rs 12.5 crore) emerged as the costliest player at the auction and Jayadev Unadkat (Rs 11.5 crore) was the costliest Indian player. Both players were roped in by Rajasthan Royals who, along with Chennai Super Kings, are back in the league after serving a twoyear ban for illegal betting.
However, Stokes’s participation is still in doubt as he faces trial for a brawl outside a pub in Bristol a few months ago.
Gambhir, the 36-year-old who had led Kolkata Knight Riders to two titles in his seven-year stay, was not retained. He will be the Delhi Daredevils skipper.
Gambhir’s departure from KKR has left a void. Andre Russell, Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik are the likely choices for leading the twotime champions.
DELHI DAREDEVILS, TO BE LED BY GAUTAM GAMBHIR, WILL BEGIN THEIR CAMPAIGN ON APRIL 8 WITH AN AFTERNOON MATCH AT FEROZ SHAH KOTLA AGAINST KINGS XI PUNJAB