K Gowtham: 'Glad to be picked by Royals'

Karnataka off-spinner K. Gowtham, on Sunday, was lapped up by Rajasthan Royals (RR) for a mindboggling Rs. 6.2 crore. Gowtham, who was previously with the Mumbai Indians (MI), expressed joy after he was picked for an amount that was 31 times his base price Rs 20 Lakh.

Returning to the IPL after having warmed the bench for MI, Gowtham would be hoping to make the most of the opportunity when the IPL carnival comes to town in April.   -  PTI

Karnataka off-spinner K. Gowtham, on Sunday, was lapped up by Rajasthan Royals (RR) for a mindboggling Rs 6.2 crore. Gowtham, who was previously with the Mumbai Indians (MI), expressed joy after he was picked for an amount that was 31 times his base price Rs 20 Lakh.

“I was watching the auctions with my family. It feels great (landing a deal) but more than that, I’m glad the teams have watched me closely and followed my performances throughout the season," Gowtham told Sportstar minutes after the hammer went down at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru.

“It gives me lot of joy to be part of the Royals squad - last year, I was with Mumbai Indians, so I can carry forward from there," he added.

Royals had earlier snapped up England all-rounder Ben Stokes for a jaw-dropping Rs 12.5 crore and the 29-year-old is excited at the prospect of brushing shoulders with the Englishman.

“Yeah definitely! It's always a good thing, featuring with some of the world's best all-rounders," he said adding, “At the same time, I'll be playing with Stuart Binny (Rs 50 Lakh to Royals); it helps to have another cricketer from your own state (Karnataka). He's also an all-rounder and can guide me during the upcoming season.”

READ: K. Gowtham goes to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 6.2 crore

Karnataka players have struck gold at the auction so far, with India internationals K.L. Rahul and Manish Pandey going for Rs 11 crore each to Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Karun Nair, meanwhile, was also signed by Punjab for Rs 5.6 crore.

And Gowtham, Karnataka's latest entrant in the list, lauded the state association for the results. "This itself speaks volumes about how well the administration has nurtured the state players.

“They’ve given us abundant opportunities and the freedom to express ourselves in every format - that's how you get the best out of a player.

“As a team, we have done extremely well; first in the Ranji Trophy and then in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament,” he said.

Asked how the state's domestic T20 tourney Karnataka Premier League (KPL) had helped his game, Gowtham, who represents the Belagavi Panthers, said, “KPL's a big platform for all youngsters and has been a stepping stone in my case; it helps recognise talent and hone your skills.”

Returning to the IPL after having warmed the bench for MI, Gowtham would be hoping to make the most of the opportunity when the T20 carnival comes to town in April.

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