IPL news: Mumbai and Pune to share hosting duties

The 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) will begin on 26 March with the final set to be played on 29 May the BCCI have revealed.

The IPL Governing Council, who also decided that the league phase of the tournament would be restricted to just two cities: Mumbai and Pune, drew up the schedule this week.

Four venues will host the league phase featuring 70 matches. The Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai, and the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune have been selected.

In the playoffs, which will feature four matches, the IPL has decided to keep its venue options open for now.

The Governing Council decided that a final decision would be taken later based on the Covid-19 pandemic situation in India in April-May.

The council also decided to keep open the option of allowing crowds to attend the matches, subject to permission from the Maharashtra government.

According to ESPNcricinfo the IPL will finalise and share the tournament schedule by the first week of March.

The IPL is now a 10-team tournament with the addition of two new franchises – Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans – last October.

At a meeting on January 22, all 10 franchises unanimously backed the IPL’s first choice of conducting the tournament in India rather than abroad.

The franchises also favoured limiting the tournament to just one venue – Mumbai – after the debacle last term.

The 2021 IPL had to be postponed at the halfway stage when the second wave of Covid-19 that was sweeping across India breached the tournament bubble.

The governing council concluded that teams travelling between multiple cities had been one cause for positive cases within teams in the first half of the 2021 edition.

The tournament resumed in September-October, with the second phase being played in the UAE – which had also staged the entirety of IPL 2020.

As for the league format it is unclear if it will be a straight double round-robin or if there will be loose groups.

The Governing Council also backed the idea of bringing back the Women’s T20 Challenge, which last took place in 2020. With a view to later establishing a fully-fledged Women’s IPL.