If there is one cricketer who has grabbed the imagination of every cricket fan in this year’s IPL, it’s Venkatesh Iyer.
It’s no exaggeration to say that KKR’s entry into the final was largely due to Iyer’s swash-buckling feats with bat and ball.
The early years
Venkatesh Iyer was born on December 25, 1994, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
He plays for Madhya Pradesh and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL.
He made his T20 debut against the Railways at the Holkar Stadium in March 2015.
He made his List A debut against the Saurashtra cricket team at Saurashtra in December 2015.
In that match, he got a chance to bat at the crucial no.3 spot but managed to score only 16 runs.
He made his first-class debut for Madhya Pradesh in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 6 December 2018.
Iyer played at the U-16 level for his state team before receiving a place in the Madhya Pradesh senior team.
First class debut
Iyer made his first-class debut against Hyderabad on December 6, 2018.
In first-class cricket, Iyer has played 15 innings and scored 545 runs at a decent average of 36.33.
In List A Cricket, he has a staggering average of 47.16 and has scored 849 runs at almost run-a-ball.
Venkatesh caught the attention of fans during the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2020-21.
Playing against Punjab, the southpaw from Indore played a blistering knock of 198 runs in just 146 balls.
Later, he registered figures of 2/24 with the ball as well.
In the IPL 2021 auctions, Kolkata Knight Riders bought Venkatesh at his base price of 20 Lakhs.
Gave up a job in Deloitte
Iyer has always been good in academics.
Iyer enrolled for a B.Com degree, alongside a chartered accountancy degree.
He even topped in the intermediate examinations in 2016.
Later, he decided to give up his CA and pursue an MBA in finance.
Due to this, Iyer landed a job with the “Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte, in their India headquarters in Bengaluru in 2018.
However, Iyer let go of the offer as he wanted to pursue cricket.
It was the right decision as he soon made his Ranji Trophy debut for Madhya Pradesh in December that year.
Off the field, Iyer loves reading and watching cooking shows and movies.
He is a huge Rajnikanth fan.
“A Thalaivar (boss) devotee,” he laughs. “I can watch his movies ‘n’ number of times. He’s a legend.”