Dubai: Ending days of anxious wait, the BCCI on Sunday released the schedule for the upcoming IPL, and in keeping with tradition, defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on runners-up Chennai Super Kings in the opener in Abu Dhabi on September 19.

Moved out of India due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the upcoming edition of the world’s biggest T20 league will be held in the three venues of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE.

After the tournament-opener in the capital city, Dubai will host its first game the next day when Delhi Capitals take on Kings XI Punjab followed by the third match on Monday between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The action will then shift to Sharjah on September 22 when Rajasthan Royals will host Chennai Super Kings.

There will be 10 double headers, with the first match starting at 3:30pm IST and the second 7:30pm, according to a BCCI release.

In all, 24 matches will be held in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah. Venues for the playoffs and the IPL 2020 final will be announced later. The final is slated for November 10. The upcoming 53-day edition is by far the longest in the history of the league.

The schedule was expected to be out in the last week of August but the announcement was delayed after 13 personnel of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp tested positive for the dreaded virus.

Also, due to different quarantine rules in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, IPL’s operations team took time to finalise the schedule.

As per IPL rules, the defending champions and the last year’s runner-up face off in the tournament opener. The same is going to happen this year after concerns over Chennai Super Kings’ readiness were erased with their first practice session in Dubai on Friday.

CSK were the last franchise to hit the nets after clearing final rounds of COVID-19 testing.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all other CSK players, except for the COVID-19 afflicted duo of Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, started training on Friday.

With Deepak and Ruturaj testing positive last week along with 11 members of the CSK contingent, the team was forced to delay its training plan after completing the six-day quarantine, including three tests, upon arrival on August 21.

The virus free players had to undergo three additional tests before beginning their training on Friday. The infected players are in 14-day quarantine.

This year’s IPL was originally scheduled to be held from March 29 to May 24 but was postponed barely two weeks before the start of the tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Then, as the number of cases increased, the league was indefinitely postponed but the postponement of the T20 World Cup cleared the decks for the league to take place in the September-November window.

Full schedule of IPL 2020 released by BCCI

September 19: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

September 20: Delhi Capitals vs Kings XI Punjab, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

September 21: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

September 22: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

September 23: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

September 24: Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

September 25: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

September 26: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

September 27: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

September 28: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

September 29: Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

September 30: Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 1: Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 2: Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 3: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi (3:30PM IST).

October 3: Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 4: Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sharjah (3:30PM IST).

October 4: Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 5: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 6: Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 7: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 8: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 9: Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 10: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Abu Dhabi (3:30PM IST).

October 10: Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 11: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals, Dubai (3:30PM IST).

October 11: Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 12: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 13: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 14: Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 15: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 16: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 17: Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai (3:30PM IST).

October 17: Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 18: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Abu Dhabi (3:30PM IST).

October 18: Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 19: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 20: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Capitals, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 21: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 22: Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 23: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 24: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals, Abu Dhabi (3:30PM IST).

October 24: Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 25: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, Dubai (3:30PM IST).

October 25: Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

October 26: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

October 27: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Capitals, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 28: Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).October 29: Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

October 30: Kings XI Punjab vs Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi (7:330PM IST).

October 31: Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, Dubai (3:30PM IST).

October 31: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sharjah (7:30PM IST).

November 1: Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab, Abu Dhabi (3:30PM IST).

November 1: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals, Dubai (7:30PM IST).

November 2: Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Abu Dhabi (7:30PM IST).

November 3: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians, Sharjah

Source: PTI