Cariappa, from stranger to star in a few minutes

Cariappa, from stranger to star in a few minutes

Cariappa, from stranger to star in a few minutes

Who is KC Cariappa? That was the question on everybody’s lips as Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils waged an intense bidding war for an unheralded cricketer who hasn’t even played cricket at the senior level for Karnataka.

Starting with a base price of Rs 10 lakh, the leg-spinner turned off-spinner’s price went through the roof before KKR eventually purchased the 20-year-old for an astonishing Rs 2.4 crore that left everyone astounded. “Every auction throws up something unusual like this,” said KKR CEO Venky Mysore. “Credit to the team for having seen and scouted him. During the Champions League, Cariappa was coming to the nets and training with us and top players, including the legendary Jacques Kallis, found him to be unusual and extremely good. So, we said let’s give it a shot,” he said.

Born to modest parents -- Cariappa’s father works as a supervisor at Kodava Samaja and mother is a housewife -- he started playing cricket aged 12. Spotted by former State Ranji Trophy player Sudhindra Shinde of Social Cricketers, Cariappa then started playing age group cricket three years ago, making the strange switch from leg-spin to off-spin with carrom ball being his key weapon.

Although he is yet to make the grade at the under-21 level or senior level for Karnataka, Shinde wasn’t totally surprised by KKR’s bid. “It’s really credible of KKR to see that he is good enough for IPL. Srikanth is a like a talent scout for KKR and he first spotted him. Cariappa has attended camps with KKR and Gautam Gambhir was very impressed with him. He did well for Bijapur Bulls in last year’s KPL. KKR have been interacting with us since then and we knew KKR would take him.”

Cariappa was visibly excited as media went on an overdrive to learn about a player who until then featured only briefly in columns that carry age-group and division cricket. “I never expected this kind of a bidding for me. I’m feeling over the moon. I was hopeful that I would be picked up for my base price, but not at the price I got. I don’t know how life will change for me now. The last KPL was my first season where I was bought for Rs 25,000.” From Rs 25,000 to Rs 2.4 crore, life does change for some.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)