Bengaluru: KKR’s Choice of K C Cariappa Overshadows Yuvi’s Record Bidding Price

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Bengaluru: If master blaster Yuvraj Singh failed to get a slot in India’s World Cup XI, he certainly emerged with a vengeance like the legendary phoenix in the other domain, the IPL. His fans might have cocked a snook at the selectors, flaunting the whopping the Rs 16-crore bidding he fetched.


But this news appears to have been obscured by another surprise element in the IPL auction process that took place here on Monday, Feb 16. Konganda Charmanna Cariappa, aged 20 years, who was not much known hitherto, was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders, at Rs 2.40 crore, while his base value was mere Rs 10 lakh.

Cariappa, who is fondly called Nishan by family and friends, hails from Rudraguppe village of Virajpet taluk in Kodagu district. Second son of Pratima and Dicky Charmanna, who works for Kodava Samaj in Bengaluru, Cariappa had his early education at St Mary’s school and pursued college studies at Soundarya College located in Bagalakunte suburb of the city.

At the IPL auction on Monday, the KKR think-tank began rooting for Cariappa and the Delhi Daredevils competed equally fiercely up to Rs 2.20 crore, at which stage the latter gave up. The KKR lapped him up with the final bid of Rs 2.40 crore.

It was as much a surprise to Cariappa himself as it was to the other franchises besides mediapersons. Not many people seemed to remember or having much heard the name. To make things worse, the bio-data provided did not even carry his photograph.

Hurriedly fumbling and running the fingers over their laptops, the media community came to know that it was the very same K C Cariappa who had earlier played for the Bijapur Bulls in the Karnataka Premier League. With deft coaching from BB captain Sudhindra Shinde and with regular practice at the Social Club in White Field, he has blossomed into a fine player.

KKR sources said that the management had set its eyes on Cariappa over the past year. Both KKR and Bijapur Bulls had a common video analyst, A R Shrikant, who recognized his potential and introduced him the KKR team. He was given an opportunity to play with the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa and others. In the meantime, since the KPL matches were aired on the national-level TV channels like Sony, he got a countrywide exposure.

Quite impressed with him, the team just grabbed him this time by bidding to the hilt. Cariappa says that he never thought he would fetch such a big bid. At the same time, he says he would do his best to ensure that the trust reposed in him is fully justified.

Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR, said that Kallis was the most impressed one. Ricky Ponting had reportedly termed him India’s answer to Sunil Narine. Known to his team-mates as ‘Carri’, he is a legspinner, often known to bowl off-breaks and leg-breaks. With a five-foot-eleven-inches frame, he is certain to do wonders, feel many cricket enthusiasts.


Interestingly, Cariappa has never played a single Ranji match as yet, having narrowly missed the selection during the past year. It reminds one of another case, that of a cricketer of Dakshina Kannada origin. He was Budhisagar Krishnappa Kunderan (1939-2006) – Budhi Kunderan in short – who had his family roots near Mulki and Yermal. Without having played a single Ranji match, he wore the test cap for India XI in the early 1960s. His record was replicated by Vivek Razdan and Parthiv Patel only after decades.

Richard Lasrado – Author’s Archives – Recent Selections:

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