Venkat was a cricketer who rose through the rank among cricketers playing for several divisions before he started playing for Ranji Trophy representing Tamil Nadu. He played Ranji Trophy representing Tamil Nadu for a period of 5 years. He is a left-arm spinner as well as a batsman who could score a few runs coming in at # 6 or # 7. One day, he was asked to bowl to a group of cricketers who were selected as probables to represent India in World Cup. While he was bowling in the nets, the coach who was training the probables noticed him having a perfect round arm action as well as bowling at the same spot every single time with significant variation in his bowling. He asked Venkat to train and improve his batting skills so that he could become a probable one day. Venkat took his word seriously and trained very hard. Within 6 months, his batting skills improved so much so that he became an explosive batsman. In one Ranji Trophy season, he scored more than 1,000 runs and got 30 wickets.
That was when IPL started in India. Several upcoming Indian cricketers were included in the list of players that various teams could pick from, and Venkat got included in the list. One of the teams which wanted to have at least 5 all-rounders in the team, selected Venkat into the team for $ 100,000. That changed his life forever. He played his first IPL and scored so many runs within the first 5 games and obtained the purple cap very quickly in the year 1 of IPL. He was also very economical in his bowling averaging less than 7 runs per over and got 2-3 wickets in every single IPL game. His team was playing good overall but lost a few games in succession losing those T20 games narrowly. Finally, they reached a stage where if they do not win their final game, they won’t get into play-off. Venkat was sent as # 5 in that game after they lost 4 quick wickets in 5 overs. He stayed till the end and within the next 15 overs, he scored a century and won the game for his team.
The next month, he was included as probables players and within 6 months, he was selected into the Indian team. He played very well for the next 2 years scoring a lot of runs and getting wickets regularly for the Indian team. The IPL teams started bidding for him over $ 1,000,000. He was paid heavily for various commercials and he became brand ambassador for several Indian companies. He made a ton of money for the next 4-5 years. He was only in late 20s and was finding it really hard to adjust to that celebrity life-style. That is when it happened. He had a major injury requiring surgery and a prolonged treatment overseas. He rushed to get it completed and went to rehab pretty quick. When he came back fully trained, he found that there were several other players who were competing for the same position. He worked hard and finally he got back again into the Indian team.
When he got into the Indian team, he had series lack of form despite the team management giving him opportunity consistently to recover from the lack of form. But nothing worked and finally, he got dropped from the Indian team. That had a ripple effect on IPL as well as branding and commercial revenues. He was removed from the contract by the national selectors. All of a sudden, from a celebrity status, he dropped down to an average cricketer looking to get into the team.
But the name and fame he enjoyed did not allow him to give up. He kept trying to get back into form. That is when he got a chance to play for an English cricket county. Playing such a competitive cricket with international players allowed him to regain his confidence. That is when Championship Trophy was introduced allowing teams from various countries to play T20 games against each other. Venkat represented the English county and scored a lot of runs and got 4 wickets each in two successive games against IPL teams participating in the competition. The IPL teams started competing for him again. However, he is very contended now and learned an important lesson in his life that getting a celebrity status was lot easier than sustaining it.