Cricket: IPL returns to India, without spectators at the start | Cricket News

Matches will be played behind closed doors and a call to clear spectators will be taken later, IPL officials said.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament kicks off in Chennai on April 9 and will be played at six venues, initially without spectators.

The richest Twenty20 competition in the world was transferred to the United Arab Emirates last year as India grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday’s IPL board meeting decided to bring the tournament home, but the pandemic forced several changes to the way it would be played.

“This year’s IPL at home will take place behind closed doors to begin with and a call to clear spectators will be made at a later stage of the tournament,” said Jay Shah, secretary of the Cricket Control Board of India (BCCI) in a press release. declaration.

Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium will host the qualifiers as well as the May 30 final, with Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata being the other venues.

The defending Indian champions Mumbai will face the Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by Indian captain Virat Kohli, in the opener.

“The matches have been mapped so that each team will only travel three times during the championship phase, reducing travel and minimizing risk,” Shah said.

“After hosting the tournament safely and successfully in the UAE last year… BCCI is confident to host the IPL at home, with the health and safety of the players and everyone involved being paramount,” said he added.

It will be a 52-day tournament with 60 games in total.

The news comes just days after neighboring Pakistan had to suspend its Pakistani Super League (PSL) after seven staff members – including p[layers-testedpositiveforCOVID-19[layers–testedpositiveforCOVID-19[couches-aientététestéspositifsauCOVID-19[layers–testedpositiveforCOVID-19

Authorities had authorized the PSL tournament to increase the crowd size from 20% to 50% of the stadium’s capacity, as Pakistan recorded more than 590,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 13,200 deaths.

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