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CSK to host RCB in IPL 2024 opener on March 22


The BCCI has unveiled the schedule for just the initial 21 matches of IPl 2024, up to April 7, due to the pending announcement of India’s general election dates.

The defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, are set to kick off IPL 2024 by facing Royal Challengers Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on March 22.

The IPL unveiled a partial schedule on Thursday, featuring an initial set of 21 matches from March 22 to April 7. The IPL final is slated for May 26, leaving only a five-day gap before the men’s T20 World Cup kicks off in the USA and the Caribbean on June 1.

IPL 2024

The latter part of the tournament schedule is anticipated to be announced following the disclosure of the national election dates by the Election Commission of India. The elections are projected to occur during the months of April and May.

The tournament’s inaugural match kicks off at 8pm IST, with subsequent games adhering to the following schedule: 7.30pm IST for evening matches and 3.30pm IST for the early game on double-header days.

There are four double-headers in the initial schedule including two on opening weekend. On March 23 Punjab Kings will play the day match against Delhi Capitals at home followed by Kolkata Knight Riders hosting Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Gardens.

On March 24, Rajasthan Royals play their first game against Lucknow Super Giants while Hardik Pandya’s Mumbai Indians open with an away-fixture against Gujarat Titans, his former team. For the fourth time in six editions, the season opener will not feature both the finalists from the previous season, with last year’s runners-up Titans kickstarting their campaign two days later.

IPL 2024

Two teams – Punjab Kings and Titans – will be playing back-to-back matches with just a day’s break in the initial set of games. After their first match, at home, on March 23, Punjab Kings will travel to Bengaluru to play RCB on March 25. Titans, who will be led by Shubman Gill after Hardik’s move to Mumbai Indians, will dash to Chennai a day after their tournament opener on March 24 to play CSK on March 26.

Capitals are the only franchise that won’t play any games at their home ground, Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla, in the March 22-April 7 period; both those games will be held at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. ESPNcricinfo understands that the Delhi and District Cricket Association has informed the IPL governing council that it might not have enough time to prepare the venue after hosting 11 Women’s Premier League matches, including the final, until March 17.

Capitals, Titans, and RCB are set to compete in five out of their 14 matches during this 17-day period. KKR, in contrast, will only have three matches scheduled; the remaining teams are slated for four games each. A notable change is that Punjab Kings will host their matches at a new venue in Mullanpur on the outskirts of Chandigarh, departing from their usual home ground in Mohali.

Click the below button to Download the 2024 IPL Schedule

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The tournament’s opening day will herald the return of MS Dhoni to action. Scheduled to reach Chennai in early March, he will recommence training with his team. After guiding CSK to victory over Titans in a rain-affected two-day final in Ahmedabad last season, Dhoni underwent knee surgery, leading to a hiatus from competitive cricket. Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya will make his comeback to Mumbai Indians, this time as captain, after two seasons with Titans, where he steered the team to a title in their debut year. Additionally, Rishabh Pant is poised to make his return to competitive cricket after a serious car accident in December 2022.

A total of 74 games are scheduled to be played, which includes four playoff matches.

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