The 2015 IPL auction saw Yuvraj Singh emerge as the most expensive purchase in the format’s history ever when Delhi Daredevils bought him for 16 crore.
Three other expensive purchases were Dinesh Karthik, Angelo Mathews and Zaheer Khan – 10.5 crore, 7.5 crore and 4 crore, respectively.
At the end of the day, one buy surprised everyone when Kolkata Knight Riders paid 2.4 crore for KC Cariappa. This amount was twenty-four times his base price, which left everyone asking just one question – “Who is KC Cariappa?”
Full name Konganda Charamanna Cariappa is a 20-year-old Coorg-based leg spinner. Carri, as his local teammates prefer calling him, claim that his unique grip allows him to bowl off-spin, too.
Just like Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka, Cariappa is a mystery bowler.
At 5 feet 11 inches, he is unconventionally tall for a spin bowler. Other than his leg-spin and off-spin bowling, he has googly and a faster one in his arsenal.
Cariappa participated in the recently organised Karnataka Premier League where he represented the Bijapur Bulls taking 11 wickets in six matches. He was also part of the preliminary squad for Karnataka during the Ranji Trophy.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra tweeted an interesting fact about Cariappa that read – I’m told that last season Cariappa was with the KKR as a video analyst for a short while… If this tweet is anything to go by, the Karnataka leg-spinner has indeed come a long way.
The bowler is also accustomed to playing several tennis ball tournaments. Besides that, he also played for the Karnataka U-19 team.
During last year’s CLT20, Cariappa was one of the net bowlers; he managed to impress many players, who further encouraged him to give his name for the IPL auctions.
He was not carrying high hopes, but once the auction finished, he said, “Honestly, I never expected so much to be bid on me. I thought I might be picked up for Rs. 10 lakhs. I don’t know how to react to this. My family is so thrilled with the news. Right now my house is crowded with so many people wishing me well.”
Such a surprise being thrown at the IPL auction is not something new. Praveen Tambe impressed many former players as well as existing ones with his spin bowling while playing for the Rajasthan Royals.
It will be very interesting to see what Cariappa brings to the Kolkata Knight Riders and to cricket on the whole.