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Feature

IPL 2022 FAQs: Seven-day isolation for positive tests, 25% stadium attendance, two reviews per team

The upcoming edition will feature ten teams and 70 league matches - including 12 double-headers - spread over 58 days

Vishal Dikshit
Vishal Dikshit
24-Mar-2022
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni meet up at the toss, Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021, Delhi, May 1, 2021

Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians - the two most successful IPL teams - are in separate groups  •  BCCI/IPL

When is the IPL starting and where?
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Kolkata Knight Riders on March 26 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to kick off the 15th season of the IPL. While that match will start at 7.30pm IST, there will be a total of 12 double-headers this season, when the first game will start at 3.30pm IST, and the second at 7.30pm.
What's the format of this IPL now that there are ten teams?
The 2022 IPL will have the ten teams split into two virtual groups of five each for the league stage. Mumbai Indians and Super Kings - the two most successful sides in the IPL - have been placed in separate groups.
Each team will play 14 league games this time as well, for a total of 70 games before the playoffs. Each team will play the other teams in the same group and one from the other group (in the same row as the table below) twice and the remaining teams in the other group once for a total of 14 games. For example, Mumbai will play teams from their own group and only Super Kings from the other group twice, and the remaining teams from Group B just once.
Where will all these league matches be played
To minimise the exposure to the risks of Covid-19 while traveling across India, this time the IPL will be played across four venues in and around Mumbai and Pune. The four grounds to be used are the Wankhede Stadium and Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, and the MCA Stadium in Pune.
If there is no home-and-away concept, how has the schedule been made?
To make it a level-playing field across the four stadia, the schedule has been drafted in such a way that teams will play four matches each at the Wankhede and DY Patil, and three each at the Brabourne and the MCA Stadium. On paper at least, rivals might feel it gives Mumbai an advantage because they will get to play four games at the Wankhede, their original home ground, although they last played there in 2019.
How long will the league stage run for?
These 70 league games will go on for 58 days from March 26 to May 22, before the playoffs, for which the venues and the schedule have not been announced yet. The final will be played on May 29.
What happens if a player or squad member tests positive for Covid-19 during the IPL?
The participant who tests positive will have to isolate for a minimum of seven days, and during that period, he will be tested on the sixth and seventh days. For him to re-enter the team's bio-secure environment, he will have to provide two consecutive negative RT-PCR tests taken 24 hours apart, full resolution of symptoms, see that there are no fresh symptoms for more than 24 hours, and that there have been no use of medications for more than 24 hours.
What happens if a team is affected by multiple Covid-19 infections and many of their players are unavailable?
A franchise can field a team if there are a minimum of 12 players available for them, including at least seven Indians and one substitute. If a team has fewer than 12, the BCCI will attempt to reschedule the match for later in the season. If, for some reason, that is not possible, the matter will be referred to the technical committee of the IPL, and the decision of the committee will be "final and binding".
Earlier, when the rescheduling of a match was not possible, the franchise unable to field a team would lose the points to the opponent.
Any new playing conditions for this IPL
Each team will now have two unsuccessful reviews per innings, as opposed to one earlier, and the rule for the new batter taking strike after a caught dismissal has also changed. From now on, irrespective of whether the batters have crossed or not at the point of a catch being taken, the incoming batter will be on strike, except if the dismissal is on the last ball of an over.
Will spectators be allowed at the stadia?
The Maharashtra government has, for now, allowed 25% of the seats to be occupied, but only by fully vaccinated spectators. Fans can buy the tickets from BookMyShow.
Which bubble protocols are different this time compared to the 2021 IPL?
The one major change is that all players and staff members need to spend three days in hard quarantine (strictly in hotel rooms), compared to seven last year, before entering their team bubbles. During those three days, the players and staff members will need to do in-room testing every 24 hours. However, this rule will not be applicable to those who will be coming from another bubble, such as at a bilateral series, a franchise preparatory camp, a domestic tournament or a national camp, provided the players travel by a charter flight or by road.

Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo