After hosting the first part in the United Arab Emirates, the seventh edition of IPL will return to India on May 2 with a high-profile clash between past winners Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in Ranchi.
The UAE was awarded the hosting rights of the first 20 matches of IPL starting April 16 due to clash of dates with the general elections.
The organisers today released the fixture for the remainder of the 40 games, including the final with all the matches being held in India. Bangladesh was kept as a stand by to host the second leg in case the government declined permission to hold the matches.
A total of 10 cities -- Ranchi, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Mohali -- will host the remaining 40 matches of IPL 7.
While the Qualifier 1 and Eliminator will be held at Chennai's M A Chidambaram Stadium on May 27 and May 28, the Qualifier 2 and the summit clash will be staged at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 30 and June 1.
Each franchise will play nine matches in India, with five of the eight teams playing at least four matches in their home stadium. Chennai Super Kings will play two matches at Ranchi, while Kings XI Punjab will play two games at Cuttack. Rajasthan Royals will play four matches at Ahmedabad. There will be no matches on May 1, May 16 and May 17.
"After discussions with the authorities in India, the BCCI is pleased to announce that a total of 36 regular season matches, plus the four playoffs of the Pepsi IPL 2014, will be played in India, starting Friday, 2 May 2014," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
The organisers also made two changes to the UAE leg of the schedule. The evening match on April 26 in Abu Dhabi, between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, will now be designated as a home match for Kolkata Knight Riders while the match April 28 in Dubai, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, will be designated as a home game for Kings XI Punjab.
"Following on from the launch of ticket sales for the UAE leg today, I am pleased that we are now able to confirm the dates for the rest of the season. It is great news that the fans back home in India will be able to watch a large part of the Pepsi IPL 2014. Given the various challenges and the logistical complexities, we have spent a considerable amount of time in crafting a balanced schedule," said interim president of BCCI-IPL, Sunil Gavaskar.
Ranjib Biswal, chairman of IPL Governing Council, said "We are delighted to have the season back in India at the start of May. Organising an event of this scale at multiple venues in two countries is an enormous organisational undertaking and we are very grateful to the Government of India, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police authorities in the various states for their support." The first leg of IPL 7 was forced to shift out of the country after the government refused to provide security as its schedule was clashing with the general elections, scheduled to be held in nine phases from April 7 to May 12.
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.