Kolkata: This year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will miss former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who according to a tweet will not be part of the auction to be held this month. The cricketer himself opted out of the auction because of an irksome schedule. “FYI – I won’t be going into the IPL auction. My winter has been too busy with all my travel & I don’t want to spend April/May away too!,” Pietersen tweeted.
Pietersen played for the Rising Pune Supergiants in the 2016 edition of the IPL but had to leave after playing four matches due to an injury. Over the years, Pietersen who was released by Rising Pune Supergiants, has played for a number of teams in the cash-rich tournament – Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Daredevils (DD), Sunrisers Hyderabad and others. He even captained RCB and DD in a couple of seasons. However, Pietersen hasn’t really got going in the IPl despite being bought on a high price.
Discarded by England, Pietersen has been travelling the world playing T20 cricket in the Big Bash, Pakistan Super League, Caribbean Premier League and others. He recently played for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash. A veteran of 104 Tests, 136 ODIs and 37 T20 Internationals, Pietersen last figured for England against Australia in the Sydney Test in 2014. He has scored 8181 Test runs at an average of 47.28 with 23 hundreds. In T20 Internationals he has managed 1176 runs at an impressive average of 37.93.
His international career came to an abrupt end after the Ashes in 2014, when the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) dropped him in a quest to induct younger players into the team. There were also talks of Pietersen running into a spat with the then England coach Andy Flower.
Despite the controversies, the former English skipper was a lethal weapon for whichever side he played. Yes, the IPL may have not seen him at his best barring the 2012 season when he amassed 305 runs in 8 matches for DD. Nevertheless, fans in this year’s IPl will miss this explosive hitter of the cricket ball.
(With PTI inputs)