IPL 2021: Franchises not happy with the schedule of the tournament

IPL 2021: Franchises not happy with the schedule of the tournament

No team will have home advantage in this IPL season.

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

On Sunday, the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council announced the schedule of the much-awaited 2021 edition of the tournament. After weeks of discussion regarding the league’s format, BCCI decided to schedule all the matches at neutral venues to limit the amount of travel that each team needs to do. 

However, the new format of teams playing in neutral venues has left some franchises unhappy with the decision. According to the reports, some of the franchises have argued that some teams having players from certain states might be at an advantage playing at certain venues. 

For instance, a franchise official argued that Delhi Capitals having some key players from Mumbai like Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane and captain Shreyas Iyer will be at advantage when they play their matches at Mumbai. A similar example was given for some players of Kings XI Punjab.

The plan can be counter-productive, says a franchise official on the new system

“Delhi has players like Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, and skipper Shreyas Iyer who are from Mumbai and the team plays its first three games at the Wankhede. They will have an advantage just as Punjab Kings who have players like KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, and coach Anil Kumble, and they play five games in Bangalore?

“Don’t they have the advantage of being familiar with the conditions at the Chinnaswamy Stadium? The plan can be counter-productive,” a franchise official told Cricbuzz. Another questioned that MS Dhoni, who could be playing his last IPL tournament, has been denied to play in Chennai.

“You are denying MS Dhoni to play his potential last IPL in Chennai. If there are to be no crowds, what stops CSK to play in Chennai and Mumbai Indians to play in Mumbai,” an official asked. All the teams will be playing their matches in neutral venues, not travelling more than four times during the course of the tournament. The playoffs and final will be played at the newly inaugurated, Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The matches will be played behind closed doors, to begin with, and the decision to allow crowds could be taken later. Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai will be hosting 10 matches each, while Delhi will host eight matches and Ahmedabad will host 12 games, including the playoffs.