There is only one name on the lips of each and everyone who has been closely monitoring the IPL auctions for the upcoming 2019 edition. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder could not be blamed if he thought he was living in some sort of fantasy land. He would be undoubtedly pinching himself to make sure that what is happening around him is real. He went into the auction pool with a base price of 20 lakhs. When the bidding for the 26-year-old was done and dusted, he was purchased by Kings XI Punjab for a mammoth price of Rs 8.4 crores.
The amount meant that he becomes the most expensive Indian in the current auctions along with Jaydev Unadkat, who fetched a similar amount. The mystery spinner has risen out of the obscurity and has had a meteoric rise in 2018.
The tweaker made his name in the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League, playing for the Siechem Madurai Panthers, leading them to a title win. He played 10 matches in the edition of the league, with his economy rate being a staggering 4.70. He also picked up 9 wickets in his spell with the club.
His good form saw him being drafted to the domestic Tamil Nadu side for the Vijay Hazare trophy, where he ended up as the top wicket-taker in the group stage with a haul of 22 wickets in nine matches and an economy rate of 4.23.
This meant that he was on the radar of many IPL franchises heading into the auctions and Kings XI Punjab were the franchise who snapped him up for the big amount.
Almost gave up the game for architecture
What’s even more interesting is that till the age of 17, Varun was a wicket-keeper batsman. He was rejected by many teams at the age group level and then decided to pursue a career in architecture. He completed his five-year architecture course at SRM University. He then worked as a freelance architect but continued to play tennis ball cricket, which kept his love for the game alive. Even at that point, he was still plying his trade as a seam-bowling all-rounder. The skill set got him nowhere as he was taking a battering from various batsmen and it was at that point, that he decided to transform himself into a mystery spinner.
Life for Varun has never been the same ever since!