The United Arab Emirates was on Wednesday awarded the hosting rights of 20 matches in the IPL’s first leg with defending champions Mumbai Indians opening the tournament by squaring off against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 16 in Abu Dhabi.
The IPL Governing Council announced the schedule for the first phase of the tournament after a meeting here. The UAE leg of the IPL, a part of which has been shifted out of the country due to general elections, will wind up on April 30 with Mumbai facing Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai.
The opening match on April 16 will be played in Abu Dhabi between @mipaltan and @KKRiders (8 pm IST/6:30 pm local), the IPL organisers announced in a series of tweets.
20 matches will be played in 3 stadiums: Sheikh Zayed Stadium- Abu Dhabi, Sharjah CA Stadium, Dubai International Cricket Stadium #PepsiIPL. The IPL GC has confirmed that the first phase of the #PepsiIPL 2014 season matches will be played in the UAE from April 16-30, another tweet said.
The second leg of the tournament has been tentatively kept for Bangladesh but could be held in India between May 1-12 if the government agrees to provide security to the event.
The IPL has been refused security by the government as its schedule is clashing with the general elections, scheduled to be held in nine phases from April 7 to May 12. The last leg of the IPL from May 13, including the play-offs and the final slated for June 1, will be held in India.
This is the second time the event has had to be forced out of the country due to elections. In 2009, the entire tournament had to be shifted to South Africa, a country which was in contention to host the event even this time. Due to the lesser number of teams, the duration of the league has also been shortened this time to 47 days and 60 matches much less than the 76 games played last season which was spread over 54 days.
The schedule of the second and third phase of the tournament will be released later.
schedule of First phase of IPL 7
Match 1: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders – April 16, 2014
Match 2: Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – April 17, 2014
Match 3: Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab – April 18, 2014
Match 4: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – April 18, 2014
Match 5: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians – April 19, 2014
Match 6: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils – April 19, 2014
Match 7: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab – April 20, 2014
Match 8: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils – April 21, 2014
Match 9: Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – April 22, 2014
Match 10: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings – April 23, 2014
Match 11: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders – April 24, 2014
Match 12: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils – April 25, 2014
Match 13: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians – April 25, 2014
Match 14: Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – April 26, 2014
Match 15: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders – April 26, 2014
Match 16: Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians – April 27, 2014
Match 17: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings – April 27, 2014
Match 18: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab – April 28, 2014
Match 19: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals – April 29, 2014
Match 20: Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – April 30, 2014