The opening ceremony of Indian Premier League will be held at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on April 7, confirmed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sources. "The opening ceremony was earlier planned for April 6, but was later changed," said the sources. The decision, reportedly, has been taken at the behest of Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.
The opening game will see defending champions Mumbai Indians take on two-time winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which is returning to the league along with Rajasthan Royals after a gap of two years. The two teams had to serve a two-year suspension over their officials' involvement in betting during the 2013 edition of the tournament. The 11th edition of the world's most popular and competitive T20 tournament will be played at nine venues across 51 days.
“Earlier the opening ceremony was scheduled for April 6 at the Cricket Club of India. Now it has been decided by the CoA that it will happen on April 7 at Wankhede before the 2018 IPL opener,” a BCCI functionary was quoted by Indian Express.
The BCCI functionary also revealed that CoA.had taken a call to reduce the budget of the opening ceremony by Rs 20 crore.
“Earlier the budget for the opening ceremony was Rs 50 crore (approved by the IPL governing council), now it has been reduced to Rs 30 crore. This call, too, has been taken by the CoA,” he said.
Meanwhile, the second match will see Delhi Daredevils locking horns with Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in New Delhi. Kings XI Punjab will play their three home matches in Indore and four matches at home in Mohali.
The much-anticipated final between the winner of Qualifier 1 and the winner of Qualifier 2 will also be played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 27.
(With Agency Inputs)