Kevin Pietersen felt “the weight of the world” on him after his 2009 move to Royal Challengers Bangalore. The charismatic cricketer recently sat down and spoke to Betway about his career on the cricket pitch in a candid video in which he reminisced about his career.
Pietersen’s move to the Indian Premier League (IPL) cost the Bangalore franchise a whopping £1.1 million. A fee that may have been commonplace in the world of football at the time. But not one that the game of cricket had ever seen prior. Pietersen’s price tag made him the world’s most expensive cricketer of all time.
Joining the IPL
According to KP, the pace-setter at the time of his 2009 transfer to Royal Challengers Bangalore was the IPL. The league was entering its second season when Royal Challengers Bangalore splashed out on the flamboyant cricketer.
Although Pietersen was the most expensive cricketer courtesy of his move to the IPL, it didn’t go to his head. He was blessed to be around some of the game’s greats during his time in Bangalore. And the same later with his stint with the Delhi Daredevils.
The chance to train, play with, and compete against the top players in the IPL – and the world – allowed him to improve his game every day. Pietersen was able to see how others approached the game and prepare before taking to the pitch.
Pietersen arrived in Bangalore at just 28-years-old. He was entering his prime cricket years having already played for KwaZulu Natal, Nottinghamshire, and Hampshire. In July 2005, Pietersen made his England international test debut against Australia and his career sky-rocketed from there. However, it wasn’t until his move to the IPL that “England’s greatest modern batsmen” truly showed just how good of a cricketer he was.
Compared to his time playing cricket for Nottinghamshire and Hampshire, Pietersen was exposed to team meetings that were meticulous in their planning and execution. The IPL was another world compared to the one Pietersen had come from in the United Kingdom. It was a world in which cricket was devoured by players, coaches, team owners, and fans like nowhere else. The hunger for cricket was the catalyst for teams taking meetings ultra-seriously with planning.
Pietersen was surprised by the amount of preparation players took before every game when he arrived at Royal Challengers Bangalore. From the time the players “padded-up” to when they walked out onto the pitch, the preparation and talk centred around the game. This was all that could be heard amongst the players and coaches.
In spite of the pressure on Pietersen, he stresses that the owners he played for in the IPL were extremely knowledgeable when it came to the sport of cricket. While some sports such as football have owners who make vanity purchases, the IPL was far different. Although working for a knowledgeable owner did create pressure, the IPL didn’t have a cut throat atmosphere where owners expected unrealistic objectives from the men on their teams.
Pietersen competed in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 and 2010. He then joined the Delhi Daredevils in 2012 and 2014. He will be long remembered as one of the league’s biggest acquisitions despite the amount of money in the IPL auction increasing in recent years. Pietersen will long have a special place for the IPL in his heart as well.
Check out the video interview with Betway.