The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest annual event on the global cricket calendar. Started in 2008 with a lot of hope but cautious scepticism, having gone through many ebbs and flows, the league has emerged stronger each year to showcase the world’s best talents on a single stage. The league has established itself as one of the biggest platforms for youngsters to flaunt their skills – a celebration where cricket’s largest global community meet, compete, share and build bridges.
Marking the 12th anniversary of the decorated league, cricket.com celebrates and honours the legends of the IPL by inducting them to the 'Cricket.com IPL Hall of Fame' – stars who not only dazzled on the field of play but elevated the stature of the league to skyrocketing heights by their sheer presence. This year, cricket.com will induct 15 such legends. Our 12th "Cricket.com Hall of Fame" inductee is England's former star, Kevin Pietersen.
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils, Rising Pune Supergiants
Play-off finishes: 3 (2009, 2010 & 2012)
- Pietersen averaged 61 in IPL 2012, fifth highest for any overseas player in an IPL season (minimum 300 runs scored)
- One among the only six players to have averaged in excess of 50 in consecutive IPL seasons played
What makes him HoF worthy: Phenomenal seasons propelling his side into the playoffs
Kevin Pietersen came into the 2009 IPL with a superstar status. He was crowned as the costliest player in the league bagging US$ 1.55 million along with his England team-mate Andrew Flintoff, hence leaving MS Dhoni behind.
Both Flintoff and Pietersen had a disappointing first season. While Flintoff said adios to the IPL arena, Pietersen stayed on to shine for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2010 season. The right-handed batsman accumulated 236 runs in seven games at an impressive average of 59 to complement a compelling strike-rate of 150. Both his fifties that season came while chasing successfully for RCB, thereby making a big impact on the franchise’s run to the semi-finals in his brief stint.
Fondly known as KP, he returned to IPL in 2012 in Delhi Daredevils’ colors for yet another impactful season. He amassed 305 runs in only eight games averaging 61 striking approximately 147 runs every 100 balls. He notched up his maiden T20 hundred - a staggering 103* off 64 balls against Deccan Chargers - that helped Delhi chase down the target without any hiccups despite losing three wickets within the powerplay. In a strange turn of events, Pietersen was a Deccan Charger in the previous season but was sent to Delhi through the transfer window after the English batsman missed the 2011 season due to injury.
While Deccan ended second from the bottom in the points table, KP’s stunning form catapulted Delhi to the top of the ladder by the end of the round-robin stage.
International commitments and England’s incongruous attitude towards the league meant that the right-handed batsman never played a full season of IPL. RCB in 2010 and DD in 2012, both fell flat in the playoffs leg of the tournament under KP’s absence after a great run in the league stage.
2012 was the last when the IPL saw Pietersen at his best. In 2014, he managed only 294 runs in 11 games averaging 29.4, a number other batsmen will take with content but nowhere near justifying Pietersen’s skills as a T20 batsman. His stint with Pune in 2016 was restricted to four games by injuries.
Overall, Pietersen scored 1,001 runs in the league. He averaged 30.1 while batting in the first innings of the match. While chasing, it escalated to 42.7 asserting the solidity he provided with his batsmanship in the league.
NOTE: The 'Cricket.com IPL Hall of Fame' only considers players who have retired from the IPL and last played in or before the 2018 season.