Visakhapatnam is the only new venue for the second season of the IPL, according to a tentative schedule released by the league. Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions, were expected to play a few games in Ahmedabad, but all its matches have been slotted for Jaipur, which will also host the inaugural game of the season, which runs from April 10 to May 24.
Besides the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Deccan Chargers will host two games at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. The six other franchises will play all their matches in one city: Bangalore Royal Challengers in Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils in Delhi, Kings XI Punjab in Mohali, Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata, Mumbai Indians in Mumbai and Chennai Super Kings in Chennai.
Delhi Daredevils, semi-finalists last year, will play the opening fixture against Rajasthan. “Jaipur has always been close to my heart and I promise the people of Jaipur an opening ceremony the likes of which has not been witnessed in India ever before with some truly world-class entertainment,” IPL chairman Lalit Modi said.
The itinerary released, though, does not reveal the grounds at which the games will be held. Although the final is to be held in Mumbai, a decision made by defending champions Rajasthan, there is uncertainty over the ground where the game will be played. They had picked the Brabourne Stadium; however, the constitution of the Cricket Club of India (CCI), the ground’s owners, does not permit non-members’ seating in the pavilion, something the IPL wants desperately. Rajasthan could probably host the game at the DY Patil Stadium, which hosted the final last year.