The Vivo IPL 2021 begins on April 9 in Chennai with defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The first match will be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Aside from Chennai, other IPL matches of the season will also be held in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad.

Even if the IPL matches are still scheduled to take place behind closed doors, cricket fans are still looking forward to watching live streams at home where they can place their bets on the best IPL odds online. Many also remain hopeful that at some point, the IPL will be able to welcome fans back to the stadium.

Despite what’s happening in India concerning the pandemic, the IPL is on. Cricket fans remain to be excited to see this season as this could also help them deal with the current situation. There are just so many things to look forward to now that the IPL is back on its full schedule.

What to Know About This Season

Unlike last year, the BCCI has brought the IPL home to India. With the pandemic situation last year, the board decided to hold the IPL 2020 in the UAE with strict health protocols. This year, even if the IPL will be held in Chennai, strict health protocols will still apply.

The league will still use the bio-secure bubble to lessen the risks of holding such a huge event. Traveling to venues was also lessened with consideration for the safety of everyone involved in the league. Everyone in the bubble will also be regularly tested throughout the season.

This season is participated by eight teams in total and each of them has a maximum of eight overseas players. However, not more than four of them can be selected in a starting XI. The top 4 teams will enter the playoffs and the final match will be held on May 30 in Ahmedabad at the Narendra Modi Stadium. The places where all matches will be held this season are all neutral venues.

When it comes to the schedule of the matches, this season is the return to the pre-pandemic time slot. Matches will start at 8 PM which has 30 minutes difference from last year’s season when matches in the UAE started at 7:30 PM.

People are also looking forward to seeing how this season will turn out despite the threat of the pandemic. However, the BCCI has already expressed its confidence that this season will still be able to push through. So far, they have no plans of moving the matches to Chennai with the rising number of virus cases. The league is confident in the sanctity of the bubble.

What Fans Are Looking Forward to Seeing This Year

Before each IPL season is, the auction and this year’s auction held in February promised this season to be an exciting one. Cricketers like Chris Morris were sold to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 16.25 crore which makes him the most expensive IPL player in history. Morris was able to beat Yuvraj Singh’s price tag worth Rs 16 crore price tag.

Many are also looking forward to seeing how cricket superstars will lead their teams. Virat Kholi said that he will open for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this year and he may be opening the first game along with Devdutt Padikkal. Aside from Kohli, Rishabh Pant will also serve as the captain of Delhi Capitals. He’s replaced Shreyas Iyer as the captain as he was ruled out of this season due to injury.

Aside from the cricketers who will be leading the teams, people are also looking forward to seeing players who might likely be on their last IPL. There are reports that this may be the last IPL for CSK’s MS Dhoni, Imran Tahir, and Ambati Rayudu, Punjab King’s Chris Gayle, and Kolkata Knight Rider’s Harbhajan Singh.

Each year, fans are also looking forward to seeing the new jerseys of the players. This is mainly dependent on the sponsors of each team. All sponsors of each team are already announced. Big companies like Colgate, Samsung, DHL, and many more are some of the major sponsors that fans will see this season.

Lastly, people are also somehow intrigued by how the recently reported IPL-related virus cases will affect the gameplay of the teams. Recently, it was reported that cricketers like Kiran More and Daniel Sims have tested positive for the virus. While they are already in isolation, it’s still interesting to see how this could affect their team’s dynamics.