Sports

IPL 2018 To Begin On April 7; Changed Match Timings Upset Franchises

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| January 23 , 2018 , 14:46 IST

The eleventh edition of celebrated Indian Premiere League is prepping to knock on our doors from April 7 and take over our living rooms. Well aware of the religion-like status of Cricket in India, the tournament which was initiated over a decade back has changed the dynamics of the game.

Every year, the extravaganza becomes a permanent fixture in our lives with every 20-over game for more than one month. While the first 10 years of IPL were filled with thrill, entertainment, suspense and a pool of emotions, the same can be expected from the upcoming edition.

With the tournament opener taking place on April 7 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the championship will culminate on May 27 at the same venue. While the final schedule is still awaited, IPL Governing Council revealed some significant details on Monday.

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In an official announcement, it was revealed that the tournament's opening ceremony will take place in Mumbai on April 6. In another important modification, the match timings have been shifted on the broadcaster Star Sports' request, a change which didn't sit well with the franchises.

As per the changed timings, the 8 pm game will now begin at 7 pm while the 4 pm start has now been pushed to 5.30pm. IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla confirmed, "The broadcaster has requested for change in timings. By and large the GC has accepted it. It gets too late in the night if the game starts at 8pm."

"As far as the doubleheaders on weekends are concerned, the 4 pm game will now be played at 5.30 pm. There will be an overlap but the broadcaster says it has enough channels to show the games simultaneously," he added further.

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However, the franchises don't seem to be in agreement with the timing changes. Most of the teams' management is upset with the decision as the IPL governing body failed to take their opinion into consideration before making the decision as they hold 50 percent stake in the new IPL revenue model.

"The franchises are not in agreement with this proposal and will take it up with the IPL. They are in fact quite not very happy that something as important as this hasn't even discussed with them," a source confirmed to Times of India.

Two influential IPL teams, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings will return to the tournament post serving a two-year ban over match-fixing. This year, a total of 578 players with 360 Indians will go under the hammer at the IPL auction in Bangalore on January 27 and 28.