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The 2021 Indian Premier League, also known as IPL 14 or, for sponsorship reasons, Vivo IPL 2021, will be the fourteenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a professional Twenty20 cricket league established by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007. It is scheduled to be played between 9 April to 30 May 2021 across six different venues in India. Mumbai Indians are the two times defending champions, having won both the 2019 and the 2020 seasons.
Kings XI Punjab were renamed as the Punjab Kings, the franchise announced on 17 February 2021, and also released a new logo.
Although earlier reports suggested the addition of two more teams in the season, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in their 89th AGM announced that there would not be any additional team for this season and the inclusion of two new teams should happen only in 2022.
On 30 January 2021, the BCCI announced that they were confident to host the tournament in India. They also said that the UAE wasn’t being considered as a backup venue. On the day of the auction, the BCCI also confirmed that Vivo had returned as the title sponsor, after pulling out from the previous tournament. As of late February, the BCCI were considering to host the tournament in a few shortlisted cities, which included Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Chennai, with Mumbai as an additional option.
On 7 March 2021, the BCCI announced the full schedule for the season. Six venues, including all the five shortlisted venues and the additional option Mumbai were scheduled to host matches. To avoid home advantage, no team is scheduled to play at their home venue. The season is scheduled to start from 9 April, with the final taking place on 30 May at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The BCCI also confirmed that the tournament would begin behind closed doors, and a call on letting spectators in would be taken at a later stage.However, after the sudden rise in cases in India, the BCCI added Hyderabad as a backup venue.
The released players were announced on 20 January 2021. Steve Smith, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell were the prominent names among the released players. Piyush Chawla, the costliest Indian player at the 2020 auction, was also released.
The players’ auction was held on 18 February 2021 in Chennai. Chris Morris was the most expensive player, purchased by the Rajasthan Royals for ₹16.25 crore (US$2.3 million). The most expensive Indian player sold was Krishnappa Gowtham purchased by the Chennai Super Kings for ₹9.25 crore (US$1.3 million).
On 10 March 2021, the Royal Challengers Bangalore replaced Josh Philippe with Finn Allen, after the former pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons. On 30 March 2021, the Delhi Capitals confirmed that their captain Shreyas Iyer had been ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Rishabh Pant was named the Delhi captain in his absence. On 31 March 2021, Hyderabad’s Mitchell Marsh pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons; he was replaced by Jason Roy in the Sunrisers’ squad. A day later, Chennai’s Josh Hazlewood opted out of the tournament citing the same reason.
Timetable For IPL 2021
The schedule for the league stages was published on the official IPL website on 7 March.