Varun Chakravarthy: Mystery spinner, Base price Rs 20 lakh, sold for Rs 8.4 crore

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Varun Chakravarthy aka C.V. Varun, a ‘mystery spinner’ and all-rounder from Tamil Nadu, bagged Rs. 8.4 crore in the IPL auction on Tuesday. Kings XI Punjab snapped up the uncapped player, who is a qualified architect.


“I am very happy and excited. I was nervous before the auction and did not expect to get picked beyond my base price.” Varun was in his native place in Thanjavur watching it with his family and grandparents. “Everyone was watching it, and very happy.”

“I am happy to be part of the side with R. Ashwin and I just hope to learn from the experience of playing in the IPL.”

After a fierce bidding war, the bowler emerged as the most expensive player in this year’s sell-off along with Indian left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat, bagged by Rajasthan Royals for the same price.

Varun was a fourth division player until 2017. However, this year he made his Ranji Trophy debut against Hyderabad. In the nine List A matches that he has played, Varun has picked 22 wickets which includes a five-wicket haul.

The leg-spinner was also the second highest wicket-taker in the the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy.

In a recent interview to a publication, the mystery spinner said that he has as many as seven variations. Varun can bowl offbreak, legbreak, googly, carrom ball, fipper, topspinner and a slider.

Chakravarthy began playing cricket when he was 13 but took up architecture after several rejections in age-group cricket.

He later returned to the game, honing his skills as a spinner able to bowl both off and leg breaks, with quite a few tricks under his hat.

After a stint with Jubilee Cricket Club in the fourth division, Varun’s variations caught the attention of Chennai Super Kings, where he bowled in the nets.

After Chennai’s home games were moved to Pune, it was Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik who extended support. Karthik along with KKR team analyst A.R. Srikkanth asked Varun to bowl in the nets. This is where the mystery spinner got a chance to meet West Indian spinner Sunil Narine and picked his brains.

Varun then implemented the lessons in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) 2018 and helped Siechem Madurai Panthers lift the title for the maiden time. Such was his performance that he earned praise from former Australian batsman Mike Hussey.