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 skepticism, 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 sixth "Cricket.com Hall of Fame" inductee is the brilliant left-handed batsman from Australia – Michael Hussey.
Teams: Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians
IPL titles: 2 (2010, 2011)
Played in the IPL playoffs in five seasons (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
- Second player to score an IPL century after Brendon McCullum
- Orange Cap winner in IPL 2013
- In 2013, he scored 733 runs which had then equalled the record for the most runs scored in a single season of the IPL (currently, joint-fourth most runs in a single season)
- His batting average of 42.1 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is the second best for the Chennai-based franchise after MS Dhoni’s 44.34 (minimum – 5 innings)
- CSK’s top run-getter in IPL 2011 when they won the tournament
- Only David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan (18) have made more 50+ opening partnerships in the IPL than Murali Vijay and Hussey (13)
- Reached the playoffs in every IPL season
- Only Suresh Raina (7) has more 50+ scores in IPL playoff matches than Hussey (4)
What makes him HoF worthy: Consistency and big-match performances
There’s an old proverb that says 'all things come to those who wait'. In recent times, a cricketer who is likely to immediately come to your mind when you read that phrase is Michael Hussey. Known as Mr. Cricket, Hussey had to play a decade of domestic cricket before making his international debut.
Hussey’s first appearance in international cricket came in February 2004, just a few months before his 29th birthday. With Australia possessing numerous top players during this period, Hussey had to wait for another year before he became a regular member of the national team. From there on, there was no turning back. While he might have been late to the party, it was a party at which the guests would never forget his name.
When the IPL began in 2008, Hussey was already on the wrong side of 30. But that mattered little as he graced the league with his class from the first game he played. Just a day after Brendon McCullum lit up the IPL in its inaugural match, Hussey followed suit by scoring a century for CSK in the second match in the league’s history.
Due to international commitments, the Perth-born cricketer would play just four matches in the first season. In the second year, he did not feature at all and played just three games in 2010. So in the first three seasons of the IPL, he had turned out in just seven matches.
Despite not featuring much during his first stint and with age not on his side, the Super Kings decided to bring Hussey back to the franchise in the 2010 IPL auction. And what a fruitful decision it proved to be.
With fellow Australian batsman Matthew Hayden having retired from all forms of professional cricket, Hussey was promoted to open the batting. It wasn’t the first time that he was playing as an opener for Chennai as he had previously done so during the Champions League T20 (CLT20) the previous year. In the final of the tournament, an unbeaten fifty and a century-stand for the first wicket with Murali Vijay saw to it that this strategy was here to stay.
This was one big difference between Hussey’s international and IPL career. While in the former, he was predominantly used as a finisher in limited-overs cricket, in India’s top T20 franchise-based league, the Australian left-handed batsman played his best cricket as an opening batsman.
Interestingly, just like during the CLT20 2010 final, Hussey managed to score a half-century and form a century-run opening partnership with Vijay in the 2011 IPL final against Royal Challengers Bangalore. In just over eight months, Hussey had played a massive role in two finals for CSK – both matches they won.
In 2011, which was Hussey’s first full season in the league, he was CSK’s top run-getter (504) as the team from Chennai secured their second successive IPL title. But individually, his best was to come a couple of seasons later.
After having retired from international cricket earlier in the year, Hussey enjoyed a dream run during IPL 2013. With 733 runs, the CSK opener not only won the Orange Cap but also equalled the record for the most runs in a single IPL season at the time. It was especially impressive when you consider that this was during the period when Chris Gayle was setting new standards in T20 batting.
Hussey would feature in two more seasons of the IPL. While he was bought by Mumbai Indians during the 2014 IPL auction, he returned to Chennai in 2015. His form dipped though and he ended his IPL career with 1977 runs at an average 38.76 and a strike-rate of 122.64 – numbers which would have been even better if not for those final couple of years.
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.