Konganda Charamanna Cariappa, a 20-year-old leg-spinner from Coorg who was playing “tennis ball” cricket two seasons ago, was purchased by defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a staggering Rs.2.4 crore at this year’s IPL players’ auction.
While the players were being traded at a plush hotel in Bengaluru, Cariappa and his family were glued to the television in their small rented accommodation in the city’s Bagalugunte.
“I don’t know what to say. It is really a dream come true. I was confident of being picked for my base price of Rs 10 lakh but never thought of the crores. I just hope I get to play in the eleven,” a soft-spoken Cariappa told a news agency shortly after getting the biggest news of his life.
Talking more about his background, Cariappa says he started playing with the leather ball at 17 and was a fast-bowling all-rounder before taking up spin.
“I don’t care about the money for now. I hope I get to play for Karnataka soon. My parents have sacrificed a lot for me. With the money I get, I want to buy a house for them,” he said before rushing to meet the expected visitors at his humble house.
Cariappa’s father Dikki Charamanna works as a house-keeping supervisor at Kodava Samaja, Vasanthnagar, Bangalore, and draws a meagre salary. Since Dikki Charamanna could not afford to meet the growing expenses of his two sons, it was left to his mentor Sudhindra Shinde to foot the bill for purchasing the cricketing gear and other training expenses.
An unknown in India’s domestic circles, Cariappa shot to fame in the 2014 edition of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), an inter-state Twenty20 tournament organized by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).
Cariappa’s impressive displays in the KPL, where he picked up 11 wickets in six matches representing the Bijapur Bulls, earned him a call-up to the preliminary squad of the Karnataka Ranji Trophy.
Besides, he has represented Karnataka Under-19s in limited over competitions. Known to be a limited-overs specialist, Cariappa represents Socials Cricket Club in Bengaluru’s premier club cricket competition.
Sudhindra Shinde, Cariappa’s personal coach reckons that while the limited overs formats are his strength, his performances in long-format cricket have also been improving.
Incidentally, Cariappa had undergone trials with KKR before the CLT20 last year. “I went for the trials with KKR before the CLT20 last year. I was a ‘net’ bowler there. They were impressed and asked me to give my name for the IPL auctions. So I did,” he said.