IPL 2020: From architect to cricketer, Varun Chakravarthy recalls 'surreal' journey after maiden 5-wicket haul
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinner Varun Chakravarthy recalled his journey from an architect to a professional cricketer after he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinner Varun Chakravarthy recalled his journey from an architect to a professional cricketer after he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.
Chakravarthy produced a Man of the Match performance during KKR's IPL 2020 match against Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and led his side to a 59-run victory. The 29-year-old 'mystery' spinner claimed 5 for 20 in his quota of four overs and restricted DC at 135 for 9 during their chase of 195.
The Tamil Nadu player made headlines two years ago when he was recruited for INR 8.4 crore by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) ahead of IPL 2019. After he was released by KXIP ahead of the auction of IPL 2020, KKR won the bidding battle against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as they purchased the spinner for INR 4 crore.
KKR's Chakravarthy termed his performance against Delhi as "surreal" as he recollected his transition from architecture background to cricket.
A couple of years ago, Chakravarthy was nowhere near the profession of cricket. He was an avid follower of the game as a teenager but had decided to pursue a degree in architecture. After he completed his education from a private college in Chennai, he worked for two years as an architect. It was around 2015, Chakravarthy, who was struggling to make needs meet with freelancing, he decided to turn to cricket and try something different. An injury forced him to change his style from being a medium pacer to a spinner, but that in the end turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
"This is a surreal moment for me because I didn't get wickets in the last few games, I wanted to get one or two wickets today, but I ended up with five. I enjoyed Shreyas Iyer's wicket the most. I was told I would be bowling from the shorter end, so I had to attack the stumps. Want to thank my mother, Hema Malini, father Vinod Chakravarthy, and my fiancee Neha, the team physios, DK bhai and Abhishek Nayar for their support.
I pretty much started my spin bowling in 2018, that's when I got my breakthrough in TNPL, it's been high and lows - last year, I didn't get many chances and I injured myself, I'm grateful for making a comeback this year. I have been working hard, but the motivation and faith have come from a lot of people around me. Around 2015, when I was not making a lot of money (the switch from being an architect to becoming a cricketer), was freelancing, and wasn't able to meet my needs, I thought I would do something different, that's when I turned to cricket. I still do it, I like that as well (being an architect)," added Chakravarthy at the post-match interview.
After the 59-run loss on Saturday, DC's place in the top two of the table is at risk now. Even though DC, table-toppers Mumbai Indians (MI), and RCB have each won seven games, the second-placed Delhi has played one game more than the other two.