Kevin Pietersen Ends BBL Career In Style
The Third Test between South Africa and India has stolen most of the cricketing spotlight recently. India’s remarkable victory on a dangerous pitch has been hailed as one of their greatest ever Test wins. The first day of the IPL Auction has just taken place as well, with big spending and many shocks.
As a result, not many people noticed that Kevin Pietersen played his last ever Big Bash match. It seems slightly odd for such an entertaining and controversial character to escape the headlines in his retirement.
Pietersen signed off in style for the Melbourne Stars, hitting a quick 46 off 23. This included six fours and two maximums. It was a typical Pietersen innings, full of power and flare and it helped guide the Stars to their second win of the season as they finished bottom in the table.
Speaking after the game, KP summed his knock up perfectly:
“It’s my last time out there, I was out there with a free spirit and that’s the way I’ve played my whole career too, I’ve gone out and not feared failure.”
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An Illustrious BBL Career
Pietersen has played in four seasons of the Australian domestic tournament. In the 34 innings he has batted, KP has amalgamated an impressive 1,114 runs at an average of 36.90. This haul is the eleventh highest in the competition’s history and it is important to remember that all the batsmen above him featured in every season and thus have played many more matches.
Taking that into account, his average is the fifth highest among batsmen who have played over 30 matches. This has come at an impressive career strike rate of close to 140, one of the highest in the tournament.
His consistency is what has set him apart from most other T20 batsmen. His averages across his four tenures have been remarkably similar, bar this year: 28 (BBL 07), 38 (BBL 06), 40 (BBL 05) and 42 (BBL 04). He has accumulated ten fifties over the years but failed to reach the hundred mark.
How The Cricket World Reacted
Pietersen sent out this tweet before his final match in Australia:
Bringing to a close my playing days in Aus today. A quite fabulous time I’ve had!
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/RTxiVyOK96
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) January 26, 2018
BT Sport, the channel with the broadcasting rights for the BBL in the UK, posted a fitting video tribute to the legend showing some of his best moments:
Kevin Pietersen, it has been our pleasure 🙌
Ahead of his final Big Bash game, we look at his best bits…
What a career! What a player!
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) January 26, 2018
The Melbourne Stars reminded BBL fans of how entertaining a player KP was:
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) January 27, 2018
ESPN Cricinfo posted this rather cheeky message in tribute:
Now 37, the hair may have greyed but the cheeky grin still remains!
Kevin Pietersen bids… https://t.co/Tsjfy3PD3r
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 27, 2018
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