Mystery spinner KC Cariappa, who was an unknown quantity when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) picked him up in 2015 for a whopping INR 2.4 crore and then Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) splashed INR 80 lakh on him the following year, was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season for his base price of INR 20 lakh.
Since playing in the IPL in 2015, Cariappa has gone on to play 29 T20 games in which he has picked up 25 scalps, which include a few games for his home state of Karnataka as well.
The spinner has been given a lease of life by RR and is thankful to the franchise for giving him the opportunity, despite his fitness taking a fit as he had not played the game in a year.
"I was just roaming around in Bengaluru and my fitness had taken a toll but that is when Zubin (Bharucha) sir called me to ask to come for the IPL trials.
"I was shocked that someone is asking me to come for trials because I was lost almost for one year and weighed around 95kgs then. However, I went for it and bowled well," Cariappa said in a press release issued by the Royals.
In fact, Bharucha enquired what's wrong with him. "Zubin sir then called me and said, 'I've been following you since 2015, but what is wrong with you? What is wrong with your fitness? We like your bowling but you have to get your fitness right.'
"And that was the moment when I found the motivation again, and I worked really hard to get back into shape. So I'm really thankful to him (Bharucha) and to the Rajasthan Royals franchise for showing faith in me," expressed an emotional Cariappa.
Calling the upcoming season as one of the most crucial of his life, Cariappa said that he will use his opportunities to make a case for the Indian team. "I have been training really consistently during the off-season, and it (the upcoming season) is very important because I've been waiting for a big opportunity for a long time, and every year I've been getting only a few matches," he said.
".....and sometimes they go well, sometimes they go bad. But if I get an opportunity again, I just want to do well and, in my head, I tell myself that I should be in the Indian team I feel every cricketer aspires to play for his country and so do I," signed off Cariappa.
(With inputs from PTI)