The fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), comprising nine teams and 76 matches, will begin and end in Chennai, with the opening match on April 4 and the final on May 27. The teams will play each other at home and away during a league phase consisting of 72 games at 12, possibly 13, venues, beginning with the defending champions Chennai Super Kings playing Champions League T20 winners Mumbai Indians.
There won't, however, be any matches in Sri Lanka, the BCCI apparently turning down a suggestion by Sri Lanka Cricket to stage a few games there.
The Pune Warriors franchise will host eight games at the new stadium in Pune, subject to its completion. In 2011, Pune had to stage their 'home' games at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Dharamsala and Visakhapatman will also host two games each, and Cuttack is listed as an alternate venue to Hyderabad for two matches.
The first Qualifier, which will be contested by the top two teams in the league, and the Eliminator, contested by Nos. 3 and 4, will be held in Bangalore. Chennai will host the second Qualifier, which will be played between the winner of the Eliminator and the loser of the first Qualifier, and the tournament final.
The tournament is scheduled to begin 12 days after the Asia Cup final and a week after the end of South Africa's tour of New Zealand. At present there are three international series that will clash with the 2012 IPL and could affect player availability for both the franchises and the countries. Sri Lanka are hosting England in April, while West Indies host Australia and then travel to England in May.
The next player auction for the IPL is scheduled for February 4.