The Indian T20 League governing council announced the format and venues for the upcoming season. The tournament will start on March 26 and conclude on May 29. Earlier reports suggested that the league games will be played across four venues of Maharashtra. The council has confirmed that the league games will be played at Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium, D.Y. Patil Stadium, and Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium (MCA).
A total of 70 league games will be played and the games are allocated to these venues. Wankhede and D.Y.Patil will host 20 games each while Brabourne and MCA will host 15 games each. This week, another report emerged that suggested that the team owners are unhappy with Mumbai getting the home advantage. It seems that the franchises are ready to play the cash-rich league in Maharashtra itself. The venues of the playoffs are not announced yet.
Talking about the format of the league, 10 teams are divided into two groups of five each. Teams will face each other twice from the same and once from the other group. The teams from the same group will play each other at home and away. A virtual group has been made according to the number of ITL titles won and final appearances by different teams. Group A features Mumbai (5), Kolkata (2), Rajasthan (1), Delhi (0), and Lucknow (0). Group B includes Chennai (4), Hyderabad (1), Bangalore (0), Punjab (0), and Gujarat (0).
To understand who will play who, let’s take Mumbai as an example. They will play Kolkata, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Lucknow twice as they are in the same group. They will also play Chennai twice as they are in the same row. Mumbai will play Hyderabad, Bangalore, Punjab, and Gujarat only once.
Here are the match distribution for the venues:
|Number of Matches
|Mumbai – Wankhede Stadium
|Mumbai – Brabourne Stadium (CCI)
|Mumbai – DY Patil Stadium
|Pune – MCA International Stadium
Meanwhile, the ITL governing council has explained that the tournament is decided to be staged in Maharashtra to avoid COVID19 infection threats. The tournament was suspended last year due to COVID cases in different teams.
“The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League will be played in a bio-secure environment at a single hub to avoid air travel which is considered as a major threat for the spread of COVID-19 infection, thereby affecting the players and the League/matches,” the ITL explained.