The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) will start on April 9 and the final will be held on May 30, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Sunday. The matches will be played in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The final will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The IPL website said that the first match will be held in Chennai with a high octane clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the world’s largest cricket stadium – will host the playoffs as well as the final on May 30, which promises to be a visual spectacle. Each team is set to play at four venues during the league stage. Out of the 56 league matches, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host 8 matches each, the IPL website said. Incidentally all matches will be played at neutral venues, that is, no team will play at their home venue this season. All teams will play at four out of six venues during the league stage. BCCI said the fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk due to coronavirus. The tournament will be played behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament. The eight competing IPL teams are Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Mumbai Indians are the current two times defending champions, after winning both the 2019 and the 2020 seasons. Kings XI Punjab had announced last month that they have been renamed the Punjab Kings.