There were plenty of expectations before the start of the 2016 Indian Premier League. Two new teams, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, had emerged out of the Ashes of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina were appointed the captains of these two teams.
The expectations went up a notch when Kevin Pietersen, a Twenty20 maverick and a former England superstar, was snapped up by the Rising Pune Supergiants for Rs 3.5 crore in the auction. The duo of Dhoni and Pietersen promised fireworks in the 2016 IPL.
However, four matches and 73 runs later, Pietersen's IPL journey has ended with a calf injury which has put him out of the tournament. This continues his jinxed run in the Indian Premier League.
Injuries, Miscommunication Part of Pietersen's IPL misadventure.
Following this latest injury, it has firmly established the fact that Pietersen's tenure in the IPL has suffered from some setback or the other.
In 2011, Pietersen was transferred from Delhi Daredevils to the Deccan Chargers but he could not play in that edition because he was recovering from a double hernia operation. In 2012, Pietersen once again went to the Delhi Daredevils, with the highlight being his magnificent 103* against the Deccan Chargers. However, he had to leave the tournament mid-way for his England duties.
In 2013, the injury jinx returned to haunt Pietersen again as he missed the entire season for Delhi Daredevils due to a knee injury. In the 2014 edition, Pietersen played 11 matches, the most he had played in a single season as the team finished with the wooden spoon.
The 'Deceit' of 2015
Pietersen had endured a terrible time during the 2013/14 season. He was singled out as the reason for England's 5-0 Ashes series whitewash to Australia and he was not selected for England.
Ahead of the 2015 season, Pietersen was brought for a base price of Rs 2 Crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, he was allowed to return home and play for Surrey in the English County circuit in order to make a comeback to the England team. He responded with 355, his highest-ever score in cricket against Leicestershire
However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) director, Andrew Strauss, Pietersen's former team-mate ruled out a return for Pietersen in the immediate future due to "massive trust issues".
Writing in a column for The Telegraph, Pietersen lashed out at the ECB and called it "Deceitful". He stated that he would return to India to honor his commitments for Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, he suffered a calf injury and he could not play in the 2016 edition.
Pietersen has enjoyed success in Twenty20 franchises across the world. For the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, he was in good form as well as for the St.Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League. In the recently concluded Pakistan Super League, Pietersen was the second-highest run-scorer for Quetta Gladiators as the team lost in the final to Islamabad United. His fitness has not been an issue in Twenty20 leagues around the world. However, when it comes to the IPL, Pietersen has endured a prolonged jinx.