The mega cricket league of the world, IPL 2018 dates are out. The 11th edition of the most successful cricket tournament in the world, Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held between April 7 and May 27. There is slight change in the match timings this year, while franchisees are also given an option to change the venue if needed.
IPL 2018 Dates – Governing body shuffles things
The league opener and the final match will be played in Mumbai at the iconic Wankhede stadium, as decided by the IPL Governing Council (GC).
However, the opening ceremony will take place a day earlier, which is on April 6 in Mumbai.
Official broadcaster Star Sports’ have made a million dollars’ worth of agreement with the BCCI for the telecast rights. On their request, the IPL GC has also allowed a shift in timings of the matches. In the 11th edition, the 8 pm game will now begin at 7 pm, while the 4 pm match will now start on 5.30 pm.
Clarifying on change of timings, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told media persons that, “The broadcaster have requested for change in timings. By and large the GC has accepted it. It gets too late in the night if the game starts at 8 pm, and we want to avoid that.”
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who’s also a GC member, could not attend the meeting.
The IPL chairman further added that, “As far as the double headers on weekends are concerned. The 4 pm game will now be played at 5.30pm. There will be an overlap in telecast, but as the broadcasters have enough channels, the matches can be shown simultaneously.”
Some further developments on IPL 2018 dates will come as the tournament nears commencement.
IPL Dates 2018 – A change in venue for some teams
At the Governing Council meeting, it was also decided that the Kings XI Punjab franchisee will play four of their home games at PCA stadium, Mohali. Three games will played at Holkar Stadium in Indore.
The venue for Rajasthan Royals is still in a limbo. RR is returning to the India Premier League after serving a two-year ban. Their playing venue will be finalised after the Rajasthan High Court’s hearing on January 24.
“The matter is in court. I think on 24th January, (tomorrow), the court may dispose of the matter. We are waiting for the decision. Preference will be given to Jaipur, if the stadium is ready and court clears RCA’s status. If that doesn’t happen, the alternate venue will be MCA stadium, Pune,” said Rajiv Shukla.
IPL 2018 Dates – Players to go under Hammer on 27 and 28 January
The 11 edition of Indian Premier League will witness a whopping, 578 players including 360 Indians available for auction. The auction will take place in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28 over the weekend.
High quality international T20 players like Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc, and Chris Gayle are up for grabs. From the Indian side, big names like, R Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, and Ajinkya Rahane have been named in two sets of marquee players for the auction. Interestingly, England captain Joe Root, who will be participating for the first time in Indian Premier League, is also included in the marquee players list.
IPL 2018 Dates – Players Secured under the Retention Policy
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who are returning to the IPL after serving a two-year suspension, would be keen on retaining the core of their sides. CSK has already retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, three of their biggest superstars. Rajasthan Royals have only Steve Smith.
Two time champions Kolkata Knight Riders team management have gone for a total overhaul of their team. KKR in the IPL retention 2018 policy secured the services of West Indian’s Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. Fans were shocked as they did not retain Gautam Gambhir, who led them to two IPL titles.
The Royal Challengers from Bengaluru, as expected have retained the star pair of skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. What came as a shocker to most RCB supporters was the retention of youngster Sarfaraz Khan, who was opted over Chris Gayle and Mitchell Starc.
The Daredevils from Delhi retained wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and South African all-rounder Chris Morris.
Champions of 2016 edition, Sunrisers Hyderabad have kept the services of hard hitting Aussie David Warner and India’s swing-king Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
An exciting mix of international and Indian stars, mark the IPL 2018 dates in your calendar. One decade has passed, but jubilation of fans and cricket lovers doesn’t seem to end for India’s most popular sport. We hope IPL 2018 will bring out more global and Indian cricket players, as it has done in the past.