Venkatesh Iyer

IPL 2021: All you need to know about Venkatesh Iyer, KKR’s latest debutant


One of the best things about the Indian Premier League are the wide array of stories, where individuals from unfamiliar lands show their skills and become overnight sensations. Venkatesh Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders’ 2021 recruit in the IPL auction, turned up with a brilliant performance on a day where there was next to no pressure on the lad, as they were chasing a measly 93-run target. By doing so, he hogged a lot of limelight.

The Kolkata Knight Riders thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, which leaves the tournament wide open and spices up the points table. Kolkata had restricted Bangalore to 92 runs in their first innings, courtesy of some stunning bowling from Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell.

In the run chase, Venkatesh Iyer chipped in with some delightful cover drives alongside his opening partner Shubman Gill to ensure the target was chased down with a whopping 60 balls remaining.

He might be an unknown commodity for a lot of the fans, but he excelled for Madhya Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier and is keen on making further inroads. Here’s some information about the man that cricket lovers must know.

Venkatesh Iyer having a word with Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

Venkatesh Iyer facts – Academic scholar who chose Cricket over CA Finals

Born in a Tamil-speaking family in Indore, Iyer had topped the intermediate (senior-secondary) examinations and was ready to enroll for a degree, while simultaneously preparing for CA Finals. It was either the CA finals or Cricket for Iyer at that point, as he had already played List-A and T20 games for Madhya Pradesh.

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But unlike a lot of Indian households, Iyer’s family, especially his mother, encouraged him to pursue cricket. He said once in an interview that managing Cricket and academics came easy for him as he was naturally a bright student. “Had there been no cricket, I would have landed in an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) or IIM (Indian Institute of Management),” the 26-year-old said, as quoted by Cricinfo.

Venkatesh Iyer facts – Rejected a job offer from Deloitte

As a management student, to reject a job opportunity from one of the big four accounting firms is no mean feat. Venkatesh Iyer had an offer on the table from Deloitte, which he rejected as he had to move to Bengaluru for that work. The MBA he had completed earlier was just to ensure he had a plan B and preferred to give Cricket a full-time shot.

Venkatesh Iyer Facts – First big domestic season in 2020/21

Having made his First-class debut against Hyderabad in 2018, Iyer had to wait some time for his first breakthrough moment. He topped the run-charts for his side in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with 227 runs in five innings at an average of 75.66 and a strike rate of 149.34.


Then in the one-day competition, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he came into his own, hitting a blistering 146-ball 198 against Punjab that helped Madhya Pradesh amass 402 for 3.

Iyer was bought for his base price of INR 20 lakh by the Knight Riders.

He soon received an IPL contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders and despite not getting a game in the first half of the season, he seemed to have earned 2-3 games as an opener after his recent exploits.

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Venkatesh Iyer Facts – Movie and books lover, devotee of Rajnikanth

Among his many interests, watching movies, cooking shows and reading books top the list. He is an avid lover of performing arts and just like a million others who speak his language, he is a huge fan of the legendary South Indian actor Rajnikanth. Referred to as the “Thailaivar”, Ranjikanth barely needs any introduction in this country. Iyer calls himself his “devotee”, and used his iconic dialogue “Yen Vazhi, Thani Vazhi.” (roughly translates to “my way is the highway”) to describe his journey to the top.