DUBAI: He burst into the IPL scene as a mystery spinner with an eye-popping INR 2.4 crore price tag but KC Cariappa couldn’t exactly set the stage on fire in the handful of games that he played.
Six years hence and 29 T20 games which include a few for his state Karnataka and some for Kings XI Punjab (Punjab Kings), Cariappa, who put on weight after a “bout of depression” is now ready to sing the redemption song with Rajasthan Royals.
A chance call from Royals top official Zubin Bharucha brought the Bengaluru man back on track.
“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.