Uthappa non-committal on Karnataka return

Wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa, who left his home state to represent Saurashtra, believes Karnataka Premier League could be a start to his homecoming plans.

Robin Uthappa at a media interaction in M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.   -  ASHWIN ACHAL

 

When all is said and done, there is no place like home. “I practically grew up on this ground. I’ve missed playing in front of Karnataka fans,” Robin Uthappa said, during a media interaction at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.

After featuring in the Karnataka team for around 15 years, Uthappa moved to Saurashtra last season. It was a massive shift out of his comfort zone.

The 32-year-old is unsure whether he will return to the Karnataka team for the upcoming domestic season, but his late inclusion in the Bengaluru Blasters squad for the Karnataka Premier League is a step in that direction.

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“I spoke to the KSCA and expressed my interest to play in the KPL, and they were happy to bring me in. This is the KPL — it is our tournament. How can I not play? This is a chance for me to receive love from our Karnataka fans," he said.

Asked if he is keen to return to the Karnataka domestic side, Uthappa was non-committal. "Let's see what happens. Playing in the KPL is a start,” Uthappa said.

The attacking batsman admitted that in the past, he did not share the best of relationships with certain KSCA administrators. Uthappa added that he has now made things right by owning up to his faults.

“The time with Saurashtra helped me mend fences with KSCA. There were certain areas where I overstepped, during my time with the Karnataka team. I had to man up and apologise, and I have done that,” he said.

Uthappa explained that shifting allegiance to Saurashtra did not come easy. “When I left Karnataka, I felt like I left a part of my heart behind. Moving out of your home state is not something I’d advise everyone to do. I faced a lot of challenges, outside the game of cricket. The local language is different, and so is the food. Gujarat is a predominantly vegetarian state — something I’m not used to. But in terms of cricket, the set-up and the players were great,” he said.

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