The schedule of the Indian Premier League has been announced. The first game this season would be played between defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad and the runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 5 in Hyderabad.
The finals will also be played in Hyderabad on May 21.
The tournament will be played spread over 47 days across 10 venues, a BCCI release said.
Indore gets a majority of the matches for Kings XI Punjab as Mohali would only play host to 4 KXIP games.
Surprisingly, Dharamsala and Raipur are the two venues which miss out in the list this time around. It has to do with the ouster of Anurag Thakur from the BCCI.
The annual cash-rich event will be played across ten venues spanning 47 days, wherein every team plays seven out of their 14 games at their home ground.
This IPL will be played at a time when the Indian team is in the midst of an extended purple patch as the Virat Kohli-led team has been like a juggernaut in this home season and the team has remained unbeaten for 19 successive Test matches.
However, the different IPL franchises go into the League with different agendas on their mind. MS Dhoni-led Rising Pune Supergiants had a forgettable season last year and would look to stamp their authority this year with different smart buys at the auction.
Kings XI Punjab, the holders of the wooden spoon have all the arsenal to bounce back after their horrendous season last year. With Murali Vijay at the helm the Punjab team would love to prove their detractors wrong this season.
As many as 351 players will go under the hammer this season and different teams would look to hold on to gun players who would fit their scheme of things perfectly. The auction is scheduled to be held on February 20 in Bangalore.
There are as many as 122 international players, including six players from Associate nations (five from Afghanistan and one from UAE).