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 14th "Cricket.com Hall of Fame" inductee is the left-arm fast bowler from India who was superb in the first few seasons of the IPL – RP Singh.
Teams: Deccan Chargers, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiant
IPL titles: 1 (2009)
Played in the IPL playoffs in three seasons (2009, 2010, 2012)
- Purple Cap winner in 2009
- Deccan Chargers’ highest wicket-taker in IPL 2008, 2009
- IPL’s all-time leading wicket-taker after 2009, 2010, 2011 seasons
- Among Indian pacers, the second quickest (by innings) to take 50 IPL wickets
What makes him HoF worthy: Proficient wicket-taker in first few seasons of IPL
Rudra Pratap Singh, commonly known as RP Singh, might not have had a long career at the top level, but in the short period that he peaked as a bowler, he created many memorable moments in Indian cricket. In fact, he was one of India’s top performers when fans in the country were just getting used to T20 cricket.
RP Singh’s peak came when he was in his early twenties, playing an integral part in India winning a Test series in England and then turning out victorious during the inaugural World T20 in 2007. Hence, it was no surprise that he was one of the most sought-after bowlers in the first IPL auction a few months later.
After being bought by Deccan Chargers for $875,000, RP Singh had a decent first season despite the team’s poor showing. The team from Hyderabad finished at the bottom of the table, with just two wins from 14 matches. RP Singh was one of the players who put up a respectable performance, ending the season as Deccan’s highest wicket-taker (15).
The Chargers’ fortunes would turn drastically in the season that followed. In the only season that took place entirely outside India, Deccan won the title after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final.
RP Singh played a big role in this victorious season for the Hyderabad-based franchise. Once again, he was their most successful bowler, taking 23 wickets this time around. And what was impressive was that his economy rate was under seven compared to the first season when he was a tad expensive, conceding 8.61 runs per over.
In the final, defending a small total of 143, RP Singh conceded just 16 runs from his four overs. In a match that Deccan won by just six runs, that was sublime and is surely up there with one of the best match-winning performances in an IPL final.
Not only was he Deccan’s highest wicket-taker in 2009, RP Singh topped the charts when it came to the entire tournament too. Winning the Purple Cap and the title in the same season – you’d think there’s nothing that can top this double achievement for a bowler in the IPL.
While RP Singh had fallen out of favour at the international level before IPL 2010, he managed to show that he was still a handy bowler as he picked up 13 wickets. While he was still taking wickets, his economy rate read 8.8 which was far from what is expected of a front-line bowler.
After spending three seasons with Deccan, RP Singh never found himself playing for the same franchise for more than one season. In 2011, he turned out for Kochi Tuskers Kerala and a season later was playing for the Mumbai Indians and then for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013. Despite not getting much time to settle in at a single franchise during this time, he was still a valuable wicket-taker for whichever team he played.
In the first six seasons of the IPL, he took at least 10 wickets in every season. In addition to that, he was the IPL’s all-time leading wicket-taker at the end of IPL 2009, ‘10, and ‘11. In total, he took 90 wickets in 82 matches in India’s top T20 franchise league. With such stats, you can definitely say that RP Singh was one of the finest bowlers in the first few seasons of the IPL.
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.