The Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati, Assam has been confirmed to host Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The much-awaited thirteenth season of the league starts on March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in a rematch of last year’s final at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
The upcoming edition will start only 11 days after India’s home ODI series against South Africa ends on March 18 in Kolkata. The league phase ends on May 17 – stretching 50 days this season as compared to 44 previously – with Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on Mumbai at home. The schedule of the knockouts is yet to be announced.
Coming to the venues, all the franchises except Rajasthan Royals will play their home games at their traditional home grounds. Rajasthan Royals will now host their second and third matches in Guwahati. On April 5, they will take on Delhi Capitals at the Barsapara Stadium before locking horns against Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue on April 9.
The BCCI confirmed the news on Thursday. Both the games will be 8PM starts, as per the IPL governing council’s decision to maintain the 4PM and 8PM start times for the afternoon and evening games for the season.
This is not the first instance of Rajasthan Royals playing their home games away from their base at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. They have previously played their home games away from Jaipur during the 2010 (Ahmedabad) and 2015 (Ahmedabad and Mumbai-Brabourne Stadium) seasons.
The champions of the inaugural season of the tournament are also scheduled to host a pre-tournament preparatory camp in Guwahati. The Royals will open their campaign in IPL 2020 away to Chennai Super Kings on April 2 before moving to Assam for the two home games.