UAE to host 20 matches in IPL 7 first leg
UAE will host the first 20 matches of the IPL including the grand opener slated for April 16 between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium
Chennai: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) 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.
Mumbai Indians' Harbhajan Singh (right) and Lasith Malinga. File Pic
"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.
April 16: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi
April 17: Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah
April 18: Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi
April 18: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi
April 19: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians in Dubai
April 19: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils in Dubai
April 20: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah
April 21: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi
April 22: Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sharjah
April 23: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings in Dubai
April 24: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah
April 25: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils in Dubai
April 25: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians in Dubai
April 26: Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi
April 26: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi
April 27: Delhi Daredevils vs Mumbai Indians in Sharjah
April 27: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah
April 28: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab in Dubai
April 29: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi
April 30: Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai