The 2011 DLF IPL season will get under way on Friday?April 8, 2011, with?reigning champions Chennai Super Kings [ Images ] playing Kolkata Knight Riders [ Images ] at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
The ten teams will play a total of 74 matches at 13 venues over 51 days.
In announcing the schedule, which was released on Wednesday, IPL chairman Chirayu Amin [ Images ] emphasised that it is subject to final approval:
''We are aware that State Assembly elections are planned in a number of the host cities. We are consulting the authorities and will confirm the schedule as soon as we are able to do so; in the meantime we have decided to release the provisional schedule to satisfy the massive level of interest in IPL across the country,'' he said.
To qualify for the final, the top four teams in the league will have to negotiate a new play-off system that has been introduced for the 2011 season.
In the new format, the teams finishing first?and second in the league stage will compete in the first play-off game, Qualifier 1. The winner will progress directly to the final, whilst the loser will have a second chance of reaching the final via the Qualifier 2 play-off match.
The teams finishing third and fourth?in the league stage will compete in the Eliminator -- the winner will go forward to Qualifier 2 (where they will meet the losing team from Qualifier 1). The loser will play no further part in IPL 2011 and will finish in fourth position.
The winner of Qualifier 2 will progress to the final, where it will play the winner of Qualifier 1.
This new format lends more significance to each of the four IPL play-off matches. There is a clear advantage for the teams finishing in the top two league positions, giving an added impetus for the teams to fight for the top positions in the League.
Overall, the new format will provide IPL fans?even greater enjoyment and excitement.
The dates and venues for the Play-Off matches are:
Tuesday, May 24, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai [ Images ]:?Qualifier 1 (1st vs 2nd)
Wednesday, May 25, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai:?Eliminator (3rd vs 4th)
Friday, May 27, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai:?Qualifier 2 (winner of Eliminator vs loser of Qualifier 1)
Saturday, May 28, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai:?Final (winner of Qualifier 1 vs winner of Qualifier 2)
Qualification for 2011 CLT20 will go to the two finalists along with the losing team from Qualifier 2.
As reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings have the right to host the opening match of the season, and?provide the venue for the final.