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GT, CSK to kickoff IPL 2023 on March 31

GT and CSK will clash on the opening night.

Defending champions Gujarat Titans will take on Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad on March 31 in the opening match of IPL 2023. The 16th edition of the tournament will begin five days after the completion of the inaugural WPL.

The opening clash will be followed by a double header on the very next day on April 1 with Punjab Kings taking on Kolkata Knight Riders in the first game of the day followed by a clash between Lucknow Super Giants and Delhi Capitals. Sunrisers Hyderabad will face Rajasthan Royals in their first game of the season on April 2 and on the same day, Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Mumbai Indians in their first game of the season.

The league stage, that concludes on May 21, will see 70 games being played including 18 double headers. The tournament returns to its familiar home and away format with all ten teams scheduled to play seven games at their home venue and seven away. 12 venues are set to host the league stage as Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals are scheduled to play two home games each in Dharamshala and Guwahati respectively.

The last time the entire tournament was staged in its traditional home and away format was in 2019. The 2020 edition was completely held in the UAE and the 2021 edition in India had to be abruptly halted as a result of Covid-19 with the second half of the season being held in the UAE again. While the IPL last year was held in India, the tournament was restricted to a limited number of venues with Mumbai and Pune hosting the entire league stage.

While the final will be played on May 28, the venues and the schedule for the playoffs will be announced later.

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