IPL 2024 to begin on March 22, to coincide with Lok Sabha elections


New Delhi: The Indian Premier League (IPL), the most popular and lucrative cricket league in the world, is set to commence its 17th season on March 22, 2024, amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the country. The IPL chairman Arun Dhumal confirmed that the entire tournament will be held in India, despite the logistical challenges posed by the elections.

The Lok Sabha elections are expected to take place in April and May 2024, with the dates likely to be announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in early March. The IPL schedule will be announced in phases, keeping in mind the security arrangements and the availability of venues in different states.

Dhumal told PTI, “We are planning to start IPL 2024 from March 22. We are working closely with government agencies. We will first release the schedule of the initial matches. The entire tournament will be held in India.” He added that the IPL management will ensure that the matches do not clash with the polling days in any state.

This will be the fourth time that the IPL will coincide with the Lok Sabha elections. In 2009, the IPL was shifted to South Africa due to security concerns. In 2014, the first half of the IPL was held in the UAE for the same reason. In 2019, however, the IPL was successfully conducted in India, with minimal disruption to the matches.

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The opening match of the IPL 2024 will feature the defending champions Chennai Super Kings, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and the runners-up Gujarat Titans, captained by Shubman Gill. The two teams had a thrilling final in 2023, with Chennai winning by one run in the last ball. The auction for the IPL 2024 was held in December 2023, with Lucknow Super Giants and Kolkata Knight Riders emerging as the biggest spenders. The IPL 2024 will have 10 teams, with the addition of Lucknow and Ahmedabad as new franchises.