Cricket

IPL and the BBL – Kevin Pietersen reflects on his time in India

Joel Smith  |  Saturday 14th March 2020
Eden Gardens

Once the most expensive player in the IPL, Pietersen reflects on his time in India and we compare the league to Australia’s BBL.

The Indian Premier League is the most-attended cricket league in the world and in 2018, it ranked fifth by average attendance among all sports leagues in the world. It continues to go strong, while the BBL in Australia has suffered a drop in attendances in recent seasons.

Pietersen was made the highest-paid player in IPL history when he was bought for $1.55 million in 2009 by Royal Challengers Bangalore, before going on to represent Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants.

Hear his thoughts on the Indian Premier League in the following video, originally from IPL Betting site Betway.

Pietersen captained both Bangalore and Delhi, and scored over 1,000 runs in 37 IPL matches overall. He also played in several other franchises in different competitions around the world, including the Melbourne Stars in the BBL - playing home games at the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The atmosphere in the IPL is said to be one of the best of any sporting event in the world with crowd noise next-level. Pietersen reflects on this, as well as why is was so desperate to take part, financial benefit and the pressure as a result, and sharing a dressing room with Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag.

The IPL was the first domestic T20 cricket competition in the world, featuring eight franchises and first contested in 2008. Many countries have followed since, including Australia with the BBL (Big Bash League).

The largest stadium used in the IPL is Eden Gardens (68,000 capacity) – home of the Kolkata Knight Riders, while the average capacity of the nine stadiums in use is just of 41,000.

In 2018, the IPL averaged 32,800 to its 60 games – totaling 1,968,000 fans across the season. In the same year, the BBL averaged 30,114 to 35 games – totaling 1,053,997. The BBL has increased the length of its season to the detriment of crowd figures, with the total crowd this past season (2019/20) marginally up at 1,129,694, however that meant the average crowd dropped significantly to just 18,520. View more BBL crowds here.

The 2020 IPL competition was set to commence on March 29 but has been postponed to April 15 due to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus.

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