Feb 27 (ESPNCricinfo) – The 2022 IPL will give its 10 teams seedings and place them in two “virtual” groups during the league phase of the tournament. The seedings are based on the number of times a team has won the IPL or made the finals.
Group A will be led by five-time champions Mumbai Indians, who are the top overall seeds, while four-time winners Chennai Super Kings, will lead Group B with the No. 2 seeding.
The other teams in Group A, in order, are Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants. Group B features Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans, in that order.
Unveiling the new format on Friday, the IPL said in a release that the 10 teams will play a total of 14 matches – seven home and seven away – during the league phase of a season that now stretches to 70 games.
Ten of the 14 matches will be home-and-away games against the other four teams in the group, as well as two matches against the team from the corresponding row (organised by the seedings) of the other group.
Mumbai, as an example, will play the other four teams in Group A – Knight Riders, Royals, Capitals and Super Giants – and Super Kings from Group B two times each. They will play the remaining teams in the other group once each (for a total of 14 games) – these games will be split home and away.
The home-and-away formula will not be relevant this season, though, because the IPL has decided to restrict the league phase to four venues across two cities: Mumbai and Pune. While Mumbai will host the bulk of the matches (55), the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium on the outskirts of Pune will host 15 matches during the league phase.
Every team will play four times each at Wankhede Stadium and DY Patil Sports Academy, and three times each at Brabourne Stadium and the MCA Stadium. While the IPL will finalise and announce the schedule in early March, it remains to be seen whether Mumbai will get any matches at their home base at the Wankhede.
2011 format tweaked
The format is similar to the one used in 2011, when 10 teams featured for the first time. The teams were split into two loose groups, with 70 league matches and four playoff games, and all the teams ranked in one points table.
During the league phase, every team played 14 matches.
Each team played the other four in their group both home and away (eight matches), four of the teams in the other group once each (four matches, either home or away), and the remaining team in the other group twice, both home and away. A random draw decided the composition of the groups as well as who played whom across the groups once or twice.
For 2022, the IPL confirmed that the tournament will be played between March 26 and May 29. It will begin 10 days after India’s home Test series against Sri Lanka is scheduled to end.
That means the IPL will not follow the RM Lodha Committee recommendation, which had stated that a two-week gap was mandatory between any international series/tournament India played and the IPL.