IPL 2018: Opening ceremony moved to April 7, first match between MI, CSK on same day

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New Delhi, March 6: The opening ceremony of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been moved a day ahead on April 7, as per the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Earlier, the inaugural ceremony was to be held on April 6, with the first match on April 7, played between defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and two-time champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The CSK team is returning to the league after a two-year suspension imposed on it.

According to the BCCI officials, the postponement of the ceremony has been done at the accord of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) order.

Along with the inaugural ceremony, the venue has also been shifted to Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai from the Cricket Club of India (CCI). A senior official of BCCI told a leading daily that the budget has also been reduced by as much as Rs 20 crore.

The inaugural ceremony will be held only at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, unlike the last year’s, where one was held in each of the eight home venues of the franchises.

The inaugural ceremony will be held before the onset of the match between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. A BCCI official told, “Earlier the opening ceremony was scheduled for April 6 at the Cricket Club of India. Now it has been decided by the CoA that it will happen on April 7 at Wankhede before the 2018 IPL opener.”

The earlier budget of the ceremony was Rs 50 crore, but now, it has been reduced to Rs 30 crore. The official said, “Earlier the budget for the opening ceremony was Rs 50 crore (approved by the IPL governing council), now it has been reduced to Rs 30 crore. This call, too, has been taken by the CoA.”

The rest of the schedule of the matches remains unchanged, with the final match being played on May 27 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

The eight franchises of the IPL 2018 remain as the old one, with the re-entry of the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals (RR), after the upliftment of the two-year suspension over betting activities on them. The CSK and RR will be replacing the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and the Gujarat Lions (GL), which were added to the league in the absence of the former teams.

IPL 2018 Teams: Mumbai Indians (MI), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Daredevils (DD), Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH), and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

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