Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings at Abu Dhabi in the opening match of this year's Indian Premier League, the BCCI confirmed as they revealed the fixture list for the league phase of the tournament on Sunday.
The lucrative competition will run from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE as it was moved out of India due to the worrying coronavirus situation in the country.
The round-robin stage of IPL 2020 will end on November 3 as the BCCI will announce details about the venues and times of the playoffs in due course.
"The season will kickstart on 19th September in Abu Dhabi with a blockbuster clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings," BCCI's Honorary Secretary Jay Shah said in a press release.
"There will be 10 double-headers... In all, 24 matches will be held in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah."
Chennai Super Kings will be looking to avenge their agonising one-run defeat to Mumbai Indians in the previous season's final when the two sides renew their rivalry 13 days from now.
The IPL action would then shift to Dubai where Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab will battle it out at the 'ring of fire' on September 20. Sharjah will host its first game on September 22 when Rajasthan Royals play their first game of the competition against the MS Dhoni-led CSK.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be the last team to open their account against Mumbai Indians at Abu Dhabi a day later.
All evening matches will commence at 6 pm UAE time (7:30 pm IST) while the 10 afternoon games, most of which will take place at Abu Dhabi (5), will start at 2 pm local time (3:30 pm IST).
The last match of the first round will be between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians at Sharjah before the top four teams advance to the playoffs.
The full schedule is available here.
It is expected that these 56 matches and the remaining fixtures will be conducted in the absence of fans.
The tournament is being held with strict implementation on the safety protocols to prevent any untoward incident that jeopardises the health of the players involved and handicaps the stakeholders.
All players, support staff and match officials are being kept in bio-secure bubbles and are undergoing regular tests for coronavirus.
However, CSK's preparations were dealt with a blow when several members of its contingent including two players tested positive for the infectious disease. Hence, they became the last team to begin training on Friday as their quarantine period was extended in light of the unprecedented positive results of the Covid-19 tests.
Additionally, Chennai's squad strength has diminished to an extent after Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh decided to withdraw from IPL 13 due to unspecified personal reasons.