After weeks of uncertainty, the schedule for the second leg of IPL 2014 has been confirmed, with India hosting the remaining 40 games from May 2. The first 20 games, between April 16 and 30, will be held in the UAE; the second leg will be entirely in India and culminates in the final on June 1.
Ranchi will host the first match in India, between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. Chennai will host the first Qualifier and the Eliminator while Mumbai will host the second qualifier and final. However, Jaipur will not host any games this season, with Rajasthan Royals playing all their home games in Ahmedabad. The Sawai Mansingh Stadium has traditionally been a fortress for the Royals, and the schedule is a blow for the 2008 winners.
The uncertainty was because of India's general elections, which will be held in several stages from April 7 to May 12. There are no matches scheduled for May 16, when the election results will be announced, and May 17. The last general election, in 2009, necessitated the entire tournament to be shifted to South Africa.
"Following on from the launch of ticket sales for the UAE leg today, I am pleased that we are now able to confirm the dates for the rest of the season," Sunil Gavaskar, interim president, BCCI-IPL, said.
"It is great news that the fans back home in India will be able to watch a large part of the IPL 2014. Given the various challenges and the logistical complexities, we have spent a considerable amount of time in crafting a balanced schedule."
There are two changes to the UAE leg of the schedule. The evening match on April 26 in Abu Dhabi, between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, will be a home match for Knight Riders. The match on April 28 in Dubai, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, will be a home game for Kings XI.
During the India leg, Kings XI will play two home games in Cuttack, while Super Kings will play two matches in Ranchi. Each team will play nine matches in India. Dharamsala, a home ground for Kings XI, too will not host a game this season.
"We are delighted to have the season back in India at the start of May," Ranjib Biswal, IPL chairman, said. "Organising an event of this scale at multiple venues in two countries is an enormous organisational undertaking and we are very grateful to the Government of India, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police authorities in the various states for their support."