On April 7, 2018, IPL, the most awaited domestic T20 tournament of India will set in motion. Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is selected as both the opening and the closing venue of the tournament, hosting the first as well as the final match of the season. This time, there is a slight change timing of the matches. The first match of a day is set to start from 5:30 PM and the night schedule will begin from 7 PM.
This timing is set from this season onwards, by the Governing Council of IPL. Per officials, the change is due to weather condition that irks players in afternoon matches. Since Summer in India is quite tedious, previous matches of day sessions were hit with peak heat. Now moving the matches more into the evening will make playing conditions more amicable.
The timing changes, however, will overlap the matches on same days. The second inning of the evening match will overlap with the first inning of the night schedule, in days of two matches. The time format will allow to get more viewers in the stadiums as matches will be at different location in same time. Star India, the company that won total rights to IPL worldwide broadcasting is no issue with the change of timing. It was discussed with the company as it agreed to the proposal. Star India will broadcast IPL for the next five seasons starting from 2018.
Last year’s defending champion Mumbai Indians will play the opening match. The opponent team will be revealed in the next IPL release. This season, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals are giving home venues. Punjab XI is given four of their seven matches at Mohali Stadium. Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, is waiting for a hearing regarding the adoption of Lodha Panel’s recommendation. The hearing will be on 24th January at Rajasthan High Court. Following the hearing, there are chances that the Governing Council would decide the venues for Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh Stadium.
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