The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the schedule of the “first phase” of IPL 2019 and the opening blockbuster game will be played on March 23rd between MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings versus Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chepauk.
The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a month away, and with a close eye on the general election dates, the BCCI announced IPL 2019 schedule for first two weeks – called the “first phase”. A total of 17 matches will be played from March 23 to April 5 at 8 home venues of each of the 8 franchises from all over India. And the blockbuster opening match will be a clash between the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. A. Chidambaram International Cricket Stadium, aka Chepauk Stadium of Chennai on March 23rd.
Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers will play five games in the said period while the remaining six teams will play four matches each – with two home and two away games each. About the timings of these IPL matches, BCCI have scheduled double headers for the two weekends, and it can be continuing with the usual 4PM (afternoon) and 8PM (evening) format. While the second phase of the schedule is yet to be decided.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 19, 2019
BCCI has also mentioned that the schedule is “still subject to the announcement of the Lok Sabha 2019 election dates. Once these have been released, the BCCI will address any issues with the first two weeks and will also prepare a schedule for the remainder of the season working with the local authorities around the polling dates”. Earlier, in 2009 and 2014, the IPL had moved out of India as it clashed with the general elections – but the announcement of initial schedule assures that the first games will be played within the country.