Calf injury ends Pietersen’s IPL stint

The 35-year-old faced only one ball in Rising Pune Supergiants’ match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday but retired hurt after he damaged the muscle when he turned sharply back to the crease when he aborted an attempted single.


“Over & out, India! Injuries are all part of the job! Horrible tear in my calf!” Pietersen said on his Instagram account.

“Sad to be leaving a really great bunch of boys but looking forward to being back with my family! London bound for a summer off! Vacation till November!”

Sacked by England in 2014 after repeated run-ins with team management, Pietersen has not completely abandoned hope of a return to international cricket.

He is toying with the idea of an improbable comeback with the country of his birth once he is eligible to represent South Africa next year.

“Yes, it is a thought in my head,” Pietersen said earlier this month. “If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Obviously, playing international cricket is something I have done for a very long time.”

Pune are currently second bottom in the IPL standings with only one win from four matches and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Pietersen’s injury could be a “blessing in disguise” for the team, who have 10 more regular season matches remaining.

“We’re playing with six bowlers, yet our death bowling isn’t great,” Dhoni said after the defeat by Bangalore.

“Maybe we can look to bring in (all-rounder) Albie Morkel or Mitch Marsh in the next game. With the kind of players we’ve got, it has always been difficult to drop someone. We need to strengthen our bowling line a bit.”

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien)