By Shrividya Somanna
“I did not expect to be picked up by Punjab Kings. It was not influence nor contacts that got me here. I always believed that one should focus on the present and keep getting one’s habits right because habits dictate one’s future”, quips budding cricket talent from Kodagu (Coorg), Machimada Vidwath Kaverappa (in picture).
Vidwath (24) has been recently in the limelight for bowling his way up for team Karnataka at the Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament.
His recent tryst with IPL for the Punjab Kings has only begun and evidently, all eyes are on the prize. But nothing comes easy. Hailing from a land known popularly as the cradle of Indian Hockey, Kaverappa started out as a backyard batsman. “I used to always play cricket with my father and sister after school. Then I used to attend summer cricket coaching camps, but cricket was not a mainstream sport in Kodagu.”
Having studied in Lions Institutions, Gonikoppal, and Presidency College, Bengaluru, Kaverappa has been an all-rounder. He represented Karnataka at the U-14 Handball tournament and has played the micro-divisions basketball and football tournament. “My father has always been supportive of me to pursue my dream, so, I moved to Bengaluru and that dream is becoming reality now”.
Covid-19 has been difficult to cope with for many and the same went for this young, optimistic lad. Having gotten inspiration from no one and from nowhere, Kaverappa has realized that life is never guaranteed, and it takes only a moment to pick your sport up. One bad ball or one bad bat could cost a player, a place in the team.
His first cricket coach was Mukesh Gandhi from Mysore and he remembers playing his first-ever tournament vividly against Andhra Pradesh in Bengaluru. “I was pretty nervous. I made a lot of mistakes”, Kaverappa commented with a smirk. Wiping all the dust of the past, he has proved his mettle, learned from his mistakes, and is embracing his most memorable season now as a right-arm fast-medium bowler.
Commenting on his goals and aims, he says: “From a cricket calendar perspective, I have always wanted to win every tournament for Karnataka but had to make the most this year with quarterfinals at Mushtaq Ali tournament and semi-finals at the Ranji trophy”. He has played for Hubli Tigers, Gulbarga Mystics, and Karnataka as a star wicket-taker. Kaverappa has also bagged a career-best 4/40 as Karnataka defeated Punjab by four wickets in the semi-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
A typical day for Kaverappa is one of sweat and toil. “My day usually starts at 5:30 am and I usually hit the gym at 7 am. Next, I have my breakfast, take some rest, and practice again from 9 am to 11 am. Post that, I have lunch, take a quick nap and practice some drills that require lesser effort in the evening. I also believe in enough recovery.”
Looking at an optimistic future ahead, he notes: “To all the young, aspiring professionals, I would say that never give up on your dreams. One small decision could make or break your life, so always be positive. Don’t waste your time thinking a lot about what people have to say. Focus on the present and keep getting your habits right. Habits dictate your future. So, focus on that! I did not expect to be picked up by Punjab Kings. It was not influence nor contacts that got me here. Just doing well, and being in the present got me this opportunity. I am happy that they have shown faith in me and I want to put my best foot forward.”