IPL organisers reveal schedule for UAE matches

Indian Premier League will start in Abu Dhabi on April 16 with Mumbai Indians taking on Kolkata knight Riders
(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

The UAE will host a total of 20 Indian Premier League matches next month as India holds its general elections at home, organisers said on Wednesday.

The IPL Governing Council confirmed at a meeting in Chennai that the first phase of the Pepsi IPL 2014 season matches will be played in the UAE from April 16-30.

A total of 20 matches will be played in three stadiums - the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The opening match on Wednesday April 16 will be in Abu Dhabi, between the defending champions, Mumbai Indians and the 2012 IPL champions, Kolkata Knight Riders.

The final match to be played in the UAE will take place on April 30 between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement that many state governments have indicated that IPL matches can be held in India from the first week of May.

The schedule for the remaining 40 matches will be announced in due course, said Sanjay Patel, the BCCI's honorary secretary.

The UAE move was forced on organisers due to the tournament clashing with the general elections in the country, scheduled to be held between April 7 and May 12.

It is the second time in seven seasons that the IPL has been forced to find alternative locations because of a clash with elections. In 2009 the whole tournament was played in South Africa.

The IPL is the world's biggest T20 tournament and attracts many of the best cricketers. At this year's auction, the most sought after players included India's Yuvraj Singh, England's Kevin Pietersen and Australian David Warner.

A total of 154 players were sold, out of which 50 were from overseas while a total of 178 players will feature in the Pepsi IPL 2014.

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