IPL 2019: Chennai to host Bangalore on March 23 as early fixtures released

The schedule for first two weeks of annual Twenty20 tournament lists first 17 matches

RESENDING WITH CAPTION CORRECTION, Members of Chennai Super Kings pose with trophy after wining against Sunrisers Hyderabad's at VIVO IPL cricket T20 final match in Mumbai, India, Sunday, May 27, 2018 . (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will host Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on March 23, the organisers announced on Tuesday.

The Super Kings, led by former India captain MS Dhoni, will take on a Royal Challengers side skippered by his successor at the national level, Virat Kohli, at MA Chidambaram Stadium in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

The schedule for the first two weeks of the tournament lists 17 matches, with six of the eight teams playing four games each. Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, formerly known as Delhi Daredevils, will play five matches apiece.

Two matches will be played on three of the 14 days that fall on the weekend. The remaining days will each feature one game.

Curiously, the start times for the afternoon and evening matches are not listed in the schedule. Dates are also subject to changes seeing as the 2019 general elections are scheduled across India around the same, although unspecified, period of time.

"Once the election dates are released, we will address any issues with the first two weeks and also prepare a schedule for the remainder of the season working with the local authorities around the polling dates," a statement on the IPL website said.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli plays a shot during the VIVO IPL cricket T20 match against Delhi Daredevils in New Delhi, India, Saturday, May 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The fixtures

March 23: Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai, evening

March 24:

- Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata, afternoon

- Mumbai Indians v Delhi Capitals, Mumbai, evening

March 25: Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab, Jaipur, evening

March 26: Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings, Delhi, evening

March 27: Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata, evening

March 28: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians, Bangalore, evening

March 29: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals, Hyderabad, evening

March 30:

- Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians, Mohali, afternoon

- Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi, evening

March 31:

- Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Hyderabad, afternoon

- Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals, Chennai, evening

April 1: Kings XI Punjab v Delhi Capitals, Mohali, evening

April 2: Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Jaipur, evening

April 3: Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai, evening

April 4: Delhi Capitals v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi, evening

April 5: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangalore, evening