R Ashwin called and welcomed me to KXIP after Rs 8.4 crore bid: Varun Chakaravarthy

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NEW DELHI: The journey from being an architect to an IPL millionaire is nothing short of a dream for Tamil Nadu’s ‘mystery spinner’ Varun Chakaravarthy. An architect by profession, Varun used to earn Rs. 20,000 per project his fortunes changed when the auctioneer’s gavel came down on a whopping Rs 8.4 crore for him in the recent IPL player auction.
The 27 year old became the joint most expensive buy, along with Jaydev Unadkat at the Indian Premier League Players’ 2019 Auction in Jaipur.
Varun, who entered the IPL auction at a base price of Rs. 20 lakh, was bought by Kings XI Punjab for Rs 8.40 crore, 42 times his base price.
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) 1545135497000
“At the back of my mind I knew I would be picked, but I didn’t expect this much” Varun told Timesofindia.com.
“I used to earn Rs 20,000 per architecture project. I love to do it because I have spent five years studying the course. I will try to stay in touch with it, alongside cricket but I can’t comment on the future. Cricket was always my first love. I struggled initially in architecture. I found it really tough at that time because the real estate market was down. So, I decided to devote as much as time to cricket as possible. And by God’s grace my hard work paid off,” the youngster said.
“I gave first priority to cricket because I knew I am doing well in it and can take my career a long way,” Varun said.
The Tamil Nadu lad was with his family, glued to the television screen, watching IPL teams locked in an intense bidding war for him.
“Everyone was so happy after I was picked,” Varun told TimesofIndia.com.
After Varun was bought by KXIP, the team captain and India’s premier off-spinner R Ashwin immediately called the youngster to congratulate him.
“The moment I was hugging my father, Ashwin called me. He said – ‘Welcome to KXIP. I am really happy for you. We will meet soon. All the best’,” Varun said.
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“I am really happy. I am excited to play under Ashwin’s leadership. We are from the same state and he will be my captain in the IPL. He is such a talented and great player. I am looking forward to a great season,” the 27-year-old spinner said.
“Ashwin has an abundance of experience. He has played all formats of the game. I will learn a lot from him,” he added.
Varun also takes inspiration and idolises legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble.
“I watch his (Kumble’s) videos daily. I watch him very closely. His control over line and length is amazing. He bamboozled many batsmen in his playing days. He is an enigma with the ball. Watching his videos, helps me a lot on the cricket field,” he said.
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“I have never met Anil Kumble, but I hope the IPL will give me a chance to meet the legend,” the youngster said.
Varun also credited the Tamil Nadu Premier League for his selection in the cash-rich T20 league.
“TNPL gave me a platform and IPL has recognition. TNPL gave me huge exposure. I learnt how to bowl in death overs and under pressure,” Varun said.
Varun played a pivotal role in his team, Madurai Panthers’ title victory in the last TNPL final. He took 2 wickets for 9 runs in 4 overs. Overall in the tournament, he bowled 40 overs, with 125 dot balls.“I have played a lot of gully cricket in my life. Gully cricket has helped me learn those tricks. I don’t press the panic button in pressure situations. I just try to read a batsman’s mind and read his footwork and then apply one of those seven deliveries,” the 27-year-old said.