Karan KC oozes confidence. His on-field exuberance and enormous trust in his abilities are amply evident in the manner in which he speaks. Karan’s magical performance against Canada in ICC World Cricket League Division II defines his career so far.Post Division II, his sparkling show in the domestic as well as international fixtures has made him an integral part of national team. Having done really well with both bat and ball, Karan is tagged a seam-bowling pinch hitter Nepal has been looking for a long time. He came clean on a gamut of subjects in an exclusive interview with Roshan Dhital. Here are the Excerpts.
Q. How are you personally preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier Asia?
A. I’m individually working on my weak areas. I’m regularly in touch with Umesh sir (Umesh Patwal) and trainer Subash sir (Subash Patro). We have a good space to review and improve our game before participating in the very important tournament. I’m in a very crucial stage of my career so I’m giving 101% both on and off the field to make the most out of it. I’m doing every bit of things which will help my side to qualify for the global event. I’m planning to go to India for some special training, probably with Umesh sir.
Q. Is there any specific area that you are working on?
A. I am getting the clear idea about my role in the senior side. All my performance and hard work will be of no use, if they don’t lead our nation to victory. As an all-rounder, I’m trying to improve myself in all the departments. Sompal (Sompal Kami) usually strikes early so it will be good for the team if I improve my death bowling. Therefore, I’m working on the slower delivery and Yorkers nowadays. Batting wise, I’m identifying my weak areas and working on it. I’m totally focused on big shots which I think is my role in the side as a batsman.
Q. You have been hitting boundaries at will, something that most of the Nepalese batsmen have struggled to do. What is the secret?
A. I’m very clear with my shot selection. I know my strong zone and confident on clearing the rope, if I get the ball there. Having a clear thought and proper body shape are some of the essential factors for hitting big shots.
Q. You have started to perform consistently after you took care of your fitness. How do you take this?
A. You heard it right (laughs). Fitness is key to every successful athlete. You need to be fit to perform on regular basis. Your body obeys your mind and reacts according to the situation if you keep it fit. Now, I’m very strict with my food habit and workout which directly helps me to perform consistently.
Q. What are Nepal’s chances to qualify for the Twenty20 World Cup?
A. I believe we have 101% chance to qualify but rather than seeing the chances, I should make sure that we will qualify. We are going well as a unit and our team is in a good shape. It is our common dream and everyone is pushing themselves very hard for this tournament. I’m sure that we will be travelling to Australia for Twenty20 World Cup. Our participation in the World Cup will surely encourage thousands of kids to take up the sport.
Q. Can you take us back to your magical performance against Canada in WCL Division II?
A. Honestly speaking, I was getting a different vibe on that. Right from the first ball I faced, I was feeling like walking on the air. I was confident until Aarif’s (Aarif Sheikh) dismissal. Losing wasn’t the option there as it would have pushed our cricket back four years. Probably, that fear inspired me to produce that magical performance.
Q. What was the reaction of your seniors and family on that performance?
A. They were all happy and delighted. I was over the moon, but seeing their happy faces made me even happier. They were asking me to give them the same power (laugh). They were calling me ‘Valentine boy’. It is undoubtedly the best moment for me so far.
Q. Take us back to your childhood. How did it all start?
A. I started playing cricket at a very early age. I played street cricket when I was in the first Grade. I was interested in both batting and bowling but comparatively more focused on batting at the initial stage.
Q. How you turned as bowling all-rounder when you started your professional cricketing career?
A. Nepal cricket team was lacking pace bowler and I had good speed in my bowling when I was introduced to the game here (in Nepal). I thought it would be good if I contributed the national side as pace bowler. It was comparatively easy for me to get into the side as a bowling all-rounder. So I decided to leave a mark through my bowling.
Q. Having played with all the domestic players in the franchise leagues, which player do you find is the difficult to play against?
A. There is no any such particular individual. But bowling wise, I find very interesting to bowl against Dipendra Airee because he is busy player and always tends to do something on every ball. Batting wise, I don’t fear anyone. I guess other bowlers need to think about it (laughs).
Q. You have huge role to increase the cricketing craze in Pokhara. How do you take this?
A. More than my role, it’s the success of the national team in last 3-4 years has encouraged Pokhara’s people to take up cricket. I’m very blessed to be part of such an inspiring journey.
Q. Some cricketing experts and fans are expecting you to open the innings for Nepal in Twenty20. What do you think about this?
A. I’m ready to open the innings if the coach and captain decide to go with me. They know the circumstances and balance of the side better but I’m ready on any particular day to open the batting for Nepal. I know I will do best, if I get any chance to prove myself on any given number.
Q. What inspired you to become a cricketer?
A. I used to watch a lot of cricket in TV at a tender age. My first and foremost inspiration to become cricketer was to get inside that television. With the increasing age, my ambitions kept on changing but it all started when I was very keen to get inside and play cricket there on.
Q. Who is your cricketing idol?
A. Shane Watson.
Q. Who deserves credit for your success so far?
A. Pubudu Dassanayake, Jagat guru (Jagat Tamata), Manoj Katwal and Dipesh Khatri are some of the individuals who have their contribution in developing me as a cricketer. They have been very supportive with me throughout my career so far and I would like thank them a lot through this conversation.
Q. What is your aim as a cricketer?
A. I have always dreamed big and that is the reason why I am here representing my country in the international cricket. I believe in big dreams and never hesitate to raise that bar. Now, my ultimate dream as a cricketer is to become a No 1 all-rounder in the world. I will put all my efforts to reach somewhere near to my dream.
Q. How was your experience as a captain of Biratnagar Kings in the third edition of Dhangadhi Premier League? Have you seen yourself as a captain in the future?
A. It is very tough to become a captain (laughs). I found very difficult to function myself as a captain but still it was a new experience for me that made me think there is much more to learn. I will learn with every passing match and such responsibility will make me more matured as a cricketer. I haven’t see myself as a captain in the near future but I will never sit back, if I get the opportunities.
Q. Do you have any message for the fans?
A. I would like to thank everyone for supporting me as well as the entire Nepal cricket team. We are all here because of your love and support. We are expecting same kind of spirit from you in coming days as well.