Bengaluru, December 28: With the IPL 2023 auction done and dusted, all eyes will now be on the schedule and the start date of the next edition of the domestic T20 league.
Like last season, IPL 2023 also will see ten teams battle for the title. The 10 teams part of IPL 2023 are Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Titans, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants, and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Now, with all the ten teams finalizing their squads during the auction, the attention shifts to the schedule of the 74-match tournament, which is slated to be held in the April-May window every year.
Reports in the media suggest that the IPL 2023 - which is the 16th edition of the cash-rich league - will start either on March 31st or April 1st with the final set to be held on May 28.
With the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023 set to be staged before the IPL 2023, the curators, as well as the organisers, would look to have at least a week's time between the two mega-events. The WPL is likely to be held between March 4 and 24.
As there is a high probability of India's qualification for the World Test Championships final in June 2023, the board will look to wrap up the tournament 15 days prior to the ICC event. However, the official confirmation on WPL and IPL start date are yet to be made by the board.
The IPL is usually held in the March to May window every season. So, the reported IPL 2023 start date could be true as the BCCI plans to host the inaugural edition of the Women's IPL before the 16th season of the men's tournament.
As per reports, the BCCI will host the Women's IPL from March 3 to March 26. The auction for the Women's IPL will also be held early next year.
As for the IPL 2023, the season opener could see the defending champions Gujarat Titans play hosts at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. But the venues and format are yet to be revealed by the BCCI.
There are hints that the IPL could return to it's original home and away format with games being played across venues in India. However, the BCCI is yet to confirm the same. If played at the homes of franchises, the venues will be as follows:
|Chennai Super Kings||Chepauk (MA Chidambaram Stadium), Chennai|
|Mumbai Indians||Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||M Chinaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru|
|Delhi Capitals||Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi|
|Sunrisers Hyderabad||Uppal (Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium), Hyderabad|
|Gujarat Titans||Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad|
|Lucknow Super Giants||Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||Eden Gardens, Kolkata|
|Rajasthan Royals||Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur|
|Punjab Kings||Inderjit Singh Bindra Stadium, Mohali|
Some teams may play across venues and some may be forced to play away from their usual homes. All this and more will be clear in the coming days.
The format for the upcoming season is still not revealed, but it is set to follow the one from last season of 74 matches, including the playoffs. The league phase will feature 70 matches with all 10 teams playing 14 matches each - 7 at home and 7 away.
The top two after the league phase will play qualifier 1 with the winner heading directly into the final and the loser getting a second chance by heading into qualifier 2, where they will face the winner of Eliminator between the third and fourth-placed teams.
The group is not officially revealed as yet, but is set to be similar to last year when the 10 teams were divided into two groups based on their performance in IPL over the years. So, the most successful sides Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will once again lead the two groups.
The grouping is done to manage the number of fixtures in the league phase, where each team of the same group and the one parallel to them in the other group will face each other twice (home and away), while each team will face the other four teams of the opposite group once (that is two teams away and two teams at home).
This is how the teams could be grouped for IPL 2023:
|IPL Group 1||IPL Group 2|
|Mumbai Indians||Chennai Super Kings|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||Gujarat Titans|
|Rajasthan Royals||Sunrisers Hyderabad|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||Delhi Capitals|
|Punjab Kings||Lucknow Super Giants|