With the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League set to feature 10 teams, the tournament’s governing body has decided to follow a group stage approach for just the second time ever in the global T20 league.
The groups have been divided based on seedings, which is the number of times the teams have won the title. Subsequently, the most successful franchise, Mumbai Indians are placed in Group A, while Chennai Super Kings with four titles have been placed in group B.
The rest of the teams in Group A will constitute the two-time title winners Kolkata Knight Riders, inaugural IPL title winners- Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, and the new joiner Lucknow Supergiants.
While Group B which is headed by Chennai Super Kings will feature 2016 champions- Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, and the latest addition- Gujarat Titans.
The inclusion of two new teams means that the IPL will now feature 70 matches including the play-offs. Well, it does seem to be two months of highly intriguing and riveting T20 action. The new formatting of the tournament will see each team in the same group play each other twice, while, playing the other group members once and the only exception being the group leaders, who also will be played on two occasions.
Let us breakdown the format by taking the Group B leaders CSK as an example:
- Chennai Super Kings will play their group members- Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, and Gujurat Titans (twice).
- will play Group A table leaders Mumbai Indians (twice)
- will play the rest of the teams in Group A, namely, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, and Lucknow Supergiants (once)
The home and away procedure will be irrelevant this time around as the teams are scheduled to play eachother in just four different venues. The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai will feature 20 matches each, while the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and MCA International Stadium in Pune will feature 15 matches each.
An advantage for the Mumbai Indians, Isn’t it? Or does it even matter as the local players have the experience of players throughout the country? BCCI further added that the detailed fixtures and schedule will be released during the first week of March.
The tournament is set to begin on the 26th of March and the final is set to take place on the 29th of May.