Krishnappa Gowtham (K. Gowtham) is known to Mysureans as a Mysuru Warrior as he plays for the Mysuru Warriors, city’s team in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL). This Karnataka cricketer, who made his first-class debut against Uttar Pradesh in Meerut during November 2012, had to wait another three years before returning to the State team this season during which he scalped 18 wickets in 8 matches. This feat of Gowtham did not go unnoticed as Mumbai Indians, the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise owned by Reliance Industries, bought him for Rs. 2 crore at the recently held player auction. Gowtham also made an impression in the India ‘A’ team by scoring a powerful 74 against the touring Australian team at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Gowtham plays for Swasthik Union Cricket Club in Karntaka State Cricket Association (KSCA) Bengaluru league, Vijaya Bank for corporate tournaments and Mysuru Warriors in the KPL. Star of Mysore caught up with him during his visit to Chamundi Hill yesterday and spoke about his upcoming innings in the IPL. Excerpts…
By S.N. Venkatnag Sobers
Star of Mysore (SOM): Firstly, congratulations on being picked by Mumbai Indians. How does it feel to be a part of such a big team?
Gowtham: Thank you so much. It feels great to be a part of team which has legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Mahela Jayawardane (coach), Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh, whom I idealise (in fact Gowtham’s nick name in cricketing circles in ‘Bhajji’ as he used to copy Harbhajan’s bowling action when he started off as a youngster). Also this is the biggest platform to showcase my talent and boost my career to a much higher level.
SOM: Did you think you would go for such a high price?
Gowtham: Never in my dream. I was confident of being picked by one of the franchises as I had good season but to be picked by Mumbai Indians and for such a high price is something I never expected. I have waited for 10 years to be part of IPL and it has finally come true.
SOM: How has KPL helped you as a player?
Gowtham: KPL has been a good platform not only for me but for many players in the State. Be it K.C. Cariappa, J. Suchith or Shivil Kaushik, they all have been picked through KPL. Karnataka Premier League is definitely a stepping stone for bigger tournaments like IPL which helps players to groom themselves as they are exposed to more experienced players.
SOM: You have been a part of Mysuru Warriors. Would you like to share your experience with the team?
Gowtham: Mysuru Warriors in KPL is like Mumbai Indians in IPL. The franchise is run very professionally. Our team owner Arjun Ranga never compromises on facilities including good coaching staff. They even brought an experienced international player like Brad Haddin to help us prepare mentally. That’s a lot of professionalism for a State level premier league.
SOM: Now that you will be a part of Mumbai Indians, have you planned your strategies for the IPL?
Gowtham: Right now I am concentrating on Vijay Hazare Tournament which is about to begin shortly. My aim is to perform well for the State in the tournament and make sure we emerge victorious. Later, there will be a good 15-20 days’ gap before the IPL when I would start planning for the tournament.