Calcutta: The New Year promises to be big for Ranchi and the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA).
The state-of-the-art JSCA International Stadium, which will hosts its first ODI on January 19 against England, has been awarded two 'home' games of the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL-VI.
The Knight Riders will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ranchi on May 12 at 4 pm. Their next 'home' match against the Pune Warriors will also be in Ranchi on May 14 from 8 pm.
That the JSCA was aspiring to be an IPL-staging centre from 2013 was first reported by The Telegraph on November 10.
JSCA president Amitabh Choudhary had spoken to Knight Riders' principal owner Shah Rukh Khan and some of the others associated with the franchise.
A joint team of the IMG and Knight Riders then visited the stadium. Their positive response went a long way in Ranchi being awarded the two IPL matches.
This means that Calcutta has lost its status as the franchise's exclusive home.
Defending champions Knight Riders will kick off the IPL by hosting Delhi DareDevils at Eden Gardens on April 3. The 76-game league will have the same format as it did in the 2012 season, with each of the nine teams playing the others home and away, before the playoffs. Eden Gardens will also host the final on May 26.
The top-four teams at the end of the round-robin stage on May 19 will qualify for the playoffs.
The Qualifier 1 will be held in Chennai between the top two teams in the league and the winner of that match will secure a place in the final on May 26. The loser of the Qualifier 1 will play the winner of the Eliminator, contested between the third and fourth teams in Chennai, in Qualifier 2, and the winner of that match in Calcutta will make the final.
Hyderabad Sunrisers, the new IPL franchise, will play their first game on April 5, at home against Pune Warriors.
As many as 11 venues have been confirmed to host the matches. The nine home venues apart, matches will also be held in Ranchi and Dharamsala. The last two 'home' games of the Kings XI Punjab will be played at the HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala, which has hosted seven IPL matches since 2010.