Tamil Nadu's 'mystery spinner' Varun Chakaravarthy is over the moon after being roped in by Kings XI Punjab at the IPL 2019 auction in Jaipur on Tuesday (December 18). Varun, who entered into the auction with a moderate base price of 20 lakh, was bought by KXIP for a whopping sum of 8.40 crore.
By securing this lucrative deal, Varun also became the joint most expensive buy in this year’s IPL auction, along with Jaydev Unadkat.
Reflecting on the career changing auction, Varun, in an exclusive interview with TOI, said: "At the back of my mind I knew I would be picked, but I didn't expect this much.”
The 27-year-old also recalled his early professional days when he used to earn Rs 20000 per project as an architect.
"I used to earn Rs 20000 per architecture project. I love to do it because I have spent five years studying the course. I will try to stay in touch with it, alongside cricket but I can't comment on the future. Cricket was always my first love. I struggled initially in architecture. I found it really tough at that time because the real estate market was down. So, I decided to devote as much as time to cricket as possible. And by God's grace my hard work paid off. I gave first priority to cricket because I knew I am doing well in it and can take my career a long way," Varun asserted.
The Tamil Nadu lad also revealed about the phone call and welcome he received from KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin after securing the deal.
"Everyone was so happy after I was picked. The moment I was hugging my father, Ashwin called me. He said – 'Welcome to KXIP. I am really happy for you. We will meet soon. All the best'," Varun stated.
"I am really happy. I am excited to play under Ashwin's leadership. We are from the same state and he will be my captain in the IPL. He is such a talented and great player. I am looking forward to a great season. Ashwin has an abundance of experience. He has played all formats of the game. I will learn a lot from him," he added.
Varun takes inspiration from the legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble and also idolises him as a bowler.
"I watch his (Kumble's) videos daily. I watch him very closely. His control over line and length is amazing. He bamboozled many batsmen in his playing days. He is an enigma with the ball. Watching his videos, helps me a lot on the cricket field. I have never met Anil Kumble, but I hope the IPL will give me a chance to meet the legend," he said.
Varun also credited the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) for his selection in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
"TNPL gave me a platform and IPL has recognition. TNPL gave me huge exposure. I learnt how to bowl in death overs and under pressure," he said.
Varun can bowl as many as seven different variations including the offbreak, legbreak, googly, carrom ball, flipper, topspinner and slider.
"I have played a lot of gully cricket in my life. Gully cricket has helped me learn those tricks. I don't press the panic button in pressure situations. I just try to read a batsman's mind and read his footwork and then apply one of those seven deliveries. You will see all seven variations in the IPL," he concluded.
(With TOI inputs)