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IPL 8 to be played in April; Pune and Chennai set to return as venues

Pune and Chennai have been added to the list of host venues for this season's Indian Premier League after having missed out on the mega-event in 2014 due to different reasons. The league matches of the 2015 edition will get underway on April 8, and the final match will be played on May 24, the IPL governing council announced on Tuesday.

Felicitation ceremony at Kolkata of the 2014 IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders

Pune and Chennai have been added to the list of host venues for this season's Indian Premier League after having missed out on the mega-event in 2014 due to different reasons. The league matches of the 2015 edition will get underway on April 8, and the final match will be played on May 24, the IPL governing council announced on Tuesday.

"The 2015 season of the IPL will commence Wednesday, April 8 and conclude Sunday, May 24," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel said in a release.

"At the request of King's XI Punjab, we have decided to allot two or three of their home games to Pune," council members told reporters at the conclusion of the meeting. Pune missed out on hosting matches at the new stadium on the city outskirts after BCCI scrapped the city’s franchisee outfit last year. 

The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium has only been hosting domestic first-class matches since.

It is understood that Kings XI decided to move out of Mohali due to lukewarm spectator response at their primary home ground.

Chennai will host IPL matches: IPL council member

“Chennai would host IPL games. It doesn't matter if some of the stands have to be kept empty of spectators,” the council members also said. All home matches of Chennai Super Kings were shifted to Ranchi last season due to a dispute with the local municipal corporation over a section of the stands in the refurbished M A Chidambaram Stadium.

The implicit suggestion in announcing Chennai as an IPL venue is that Chennai Super Kings – the most successful team in the event’s history – will feature in the 8th edition. The Chennai franchisee’s future is currently hanging in the balance; a Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha panel will decide on the quantum of punishment to be handed out to CSK after its team official Gurunath Meiyappan had been found guilty of betting in IPL.

The council also awarded Rajasthan Royals home matches to Ahmedabad in place of Jaipur, as had been the case in 2014. The Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai is also likely to host a couple of home games for the Rajasthan side.

Along with the 2015 edition, the governing council also announced the dates for the next two seasons, 2016 and 2017 respectively. While the 2016 edition will be played Apr 8-May 29, the 2017 edition is slated for Apr 5-May 21.

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