Varun Chakravarthy has had a fairy tale story to the top. After nearly giving up on cricket to becoming a Crorepati two times on a trot, the Karnataka born mystery spinner has indeed seen a lot in his relatively short career.
Varun made his List A debut for Tamil Nadu in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy on 20 September 2018 and became the leading wicket-taker for his side in the tournament with twenty-two dismissals in nine matches. A month later, the mystery spinner made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 12 November 2018. However, his ascension to the top began in the Tamil Nadu Premier League where he played for Siechem Madurai Panthers in the 2018 season.
His superlative bowling ensure that Madurai won its first title that year and this is where the talent scouts from all over the country first laid their eyes on the spinner.
All told, Varun bowled 40 overs, of which 125 balls were dots. His economy rate of 4.7 was the best among bowlers who had bowled at least 15 overs. CSK's batting coach Michael Hussey, who worked as a commentator in the TNPL earlier this year, picked out Varun as one of the most exciting talents.
After his exploits in the TNPL in 2018 season, Varun Chakravarthy was the talk of the town and in the IPL auctions, the then 27-year-old spinner hit a jackpot as Kings XI Punjab shelled a whopping INR 8.4 crore, 42 times his base price of INR 20 lakh to secure his services. However, Varun played a solitary game for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2019, before a finger fracture sidelined him for a lengthy period.
One would have reckoned that Varun had gone lucky in the auctions but despite an injury-plagued season, the mystery-spinner got second-time lucky in the 2019 IPL auctions where Kolkata Knight Riders shelled out INR 4 crore (USD 563,000 approx.) for his seven variations. Knight Riders outbid Royal Challengers Bangalore and got him on board. A fit Varun Chakravarthy will be raring to go on the dusty, old tracks of UAE this season and if everything falls into place, 2020 could be his breakout season.
Varun was a wicketkeeper-batsman until 17. Then, after being rejected multiple times in age-group cricket, he took up an architecture degree and then worked as a freelancer. But he got bored of it and turned into a mystery spinner.