Meeting with Warne turned Karn's career

Even over the crackling of the phone, it was easy to detect disbelief in Karn Sharma’s voice. “Rs 3.75 crore. I just can’t believe it.” 

The Railways leg-spinner was training at a ground near his home in Meerut when his sister broke the news of Sunrisers Hyderabad buying him for the big amount. “I was hoping that someone, preferrably Sunrisers (for whom he played last season), would make a bid for me. But that 3.75 crore was not even in my dreams. When my sister called up and told me about it I could hardly believe it,” Karn told Deccan Herald. “In fact, my mother (a teacher), father (businessman) and sister were more tense than me,” he added with a chuckle. 

A fitter (Grade III employee) in Indian Railways at Varanasi, Karn has always had the talent, and it was not for nothing he was adjudged the best under-25 player of the 2012-13 season that also saw him notching a six fifties and a hundred in first-class cricket. 

Karn began to believe more in his abilities after a meeting with Shane Warne, the legendary Australian leg-spinner. “I happened to meet Warne during an IPL game in 2011 and it was a great experience to see him in action. The variety he has is amazing, and at the same time he is a very down to earth person.

It was my good fortune to spend some time with him. He just told me that the confidence is important for a leg-spinner because it is a tough craft to master. That interaction really gave me a lot of confidence. He is my idol, but I have not tried to copy his action or how he bowl.” 

Perhaps, it helped Karn to come up with a good effort for Railways in the 2012-13 domestic season, and Sunrisers bagged him for Rs 30 lakh for that season’s IPL. The leggie didn’t disappoint the franchise either. Karn took 11 wickets from 13 matches at 20.90 at an impressive economy rate of 6.6. So, there was every chance one of the franchises would pick up Karn. But what ensued was beyond the wildest dreams of him as four teams engaged in a heated bidding for him before Sunrisers picked him up for the big amount. 

Before cutting the call, Karn reminded one how his name was spelt. “I heard that my name was showing in the TV as Karan, but my spelling is Karn, without the second ‘a’.” But now his spelling could be more familiar. 

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