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Karan KC: Rise from a tennis ball

Karan KC lived an anonymous’ life just one and half year back. A young but heavily built lad originally from Baglung and brought up in Chandigarh, India has a contrasting character. He speaks with timidity and is yet to open up among his peers.

Karan has no command over Nepali language but has done enough to find a place in the national team for Nepal’s most important cricket tournament in their history – the ICC World Cricket League Division-II.

Karan was just one-year old when his family took him to Punjab from Baglung. With two elderly brothers, the youngest was the most pampered one. One who can do anything and his mistakes will be ignored and sweetly accepted. For his parents, he made a mistake by playing cricket and it got into their nerves. In India, he played for a tennis ball cricket club which had current opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan as their product.

Karan was playing excessive cricket with the tennis ball that got into his parent’s nerves and they finally took a decision to send him back to Nepal. The decision actually got backfired for his parents but worked in the well-being of Nepali cricket.

Impressive with the raw pace and the physique he carries, Karan is now expected to be the next generation seamer of Nepali cricket who could form a good combination with Sompal Kami. The young has already proved himself as a bowler picking up eight wickets in two of the 3-day matches Nepal played last year in Sri Lanka.

Karan credits his rise in Nepali cricket scene to former national team and Pokhara cricketer Dipesh Khatri who laid the platform for the talent taking him to local matches that led to national camp. talked to Dipesh to know about how Karan first came into the club team, then to district and regional and finally to the national team. Here is the story of Karan’s rise from a tennis ball cricket as told by Dipesh Khatri himself :-

“Karan came couple of years back but didn’t know anything about leather ball cricket in Baglung. He himself was a tennis ball cricketer, a specialist in that department. When he came to Nepal last year,  he played from a club for a tennis ball tournament in Baglung. He did okay but his team lost its  match. I heard a bit of him from local lads who knew me because of cricket. These guys told me to  take a look at him for my club MCC (Machhapucchre Cricket Club).

Few days later Karan’s elder brother Hemant found me on facebook. We had some chat session and I  told him to come nearby lakeside where they both were living at their relatives’.

We then fixed a meeting and the day arrived. When I first met them, I thought they were WWE  players because they looked heavily built lads. I asked Hemant to bowl and Karan to bat. Karan batted  pretty well but the best part was yet to come. When he bowled, he seemed quick. I took him to  Malepatan ground where we would play local tennis ball matches with nearby teams. Since I was a  known name, they wouldn’t allow me to play. But Karan did.

After some matches and practice sessions, I thought using him with leather ball but due to my other  engagements it couldn’t happen as early as I had wanted. I wanted him to go big and I was confident  on that. But soon I was struck when I heard that the Kaski District Cricket Association was not going  to organize club level games this time around. Instead, they had chosen to pick up players who  attended net sessions. I rushed to the net session separating Karan from the tennis ball playing  ground. I just told him to bowl fast and he did. Bhairahawa coach Jung Bahadur Thapa was conducting  the net sessions and he was instantly impressed by Karan’s raw pace.

Karan was picked up for the district team. The upcoming talent was then on the making. He bowled  pretty well against Syangja and we formed a good attack combination demolishing the top order. He   was okay against Chitwan but since he was quickest amongst all the bowlers, he broke into the  regional team. We have never lost a game when he has played for the club, be it with the tennis ball  or leather ones.

I then took him to Jagat sir (chief coach Jagat Tamatta) and selector Manoj Katwal. For a guy who was  bowling over 130kmmph, he was already a national team material. They called him for the camps in  Kathmandu and rest everyone knows.”

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