Mumbai, Dec 21 (IBNS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced that the match-schedule of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 has been finalised.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), winners of the 2012 edition of the tournament, will commence their quest to retain the title, on home turf.
They will take on Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural clash of the competition at the Eden Gardens, on 3 April 2013.
One of the many highlights of the sixth edition of the tournament, will be the debut of Sunrisers Hyderabad, who joined the IPL fraternity in October 2012. They will begin their IPL innings with a 'home' game against Pune Warriors India, on 5 April 2013.
The tournament will be played in the same format as the 2012 edition. Each of the nine participating teams will play the other eight twice, at home and away. The top four teams, at the end of the round-robin stage on 19 May 2013, will qualify for the Playoffs.
The Qualifier 1 and Eliminator games will be played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai - the home ground of the IPL 2012 runners-up - on 21 May 2013 and 22 May 2013 respectively.
The Qualifier 2 encounter and the Final, will be played at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata - the home ground of the IPL 2012 winners - on 24 May 2013 and 26 May 2013 respectively.
As many as eleven venues have been confirmed to host the matches.
The nine home venues apart, matches will be played at two arenas that will be making their ODI debuts in January 2013.
The last two 'home' games of the Kings XI Punjab will be played at the HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala, which has hosted seven IPL matches since 2010.
The Jharkhand State Cricket Association International Stadium Complex at Ranchi, will host the last two 'home' games of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
"The countdown to Pepsi IPL 2013 has begun. We are poised to witness a competition that will be as, if not more, spectacular, than its predecessors," Rajeev Shukla, Chairman, IPL, said.
"The greatest cricketers on this planet will join forces with the stars of the future, to deliver some exhilarating cricket for their respective teams. The teams will play hard, but fair, and the most consistent of the lot will be crowned the PEPSI IPL 2013 Champion on 26 May 2013," said Shukla.