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Dinesh Karthik on his sports NFT: ‘I wanted fans to relive the moment around my last-ball six

Dinesh Karthik indian cricketer

Three-and-a-half years since Indian wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik scripted one of India’s more thrilling cricketing triumphs, his winning moment has been immortalised into NFT art.

In March 2018, India faced Bangladesh in the finals of the Nidahas Trophy; the match turned into a classic nail point with the Indian team needing 5 runs to win off the last ball, and Karthik was at the batting side.

Not to be outdone by the immense pressure of a final that had come down to the wire, Karthik went on to hit the last ball throughing by , Soumya Sarkar, over the deep extra cover boundary for a six, and winning the match in emphatic style.

Hands aloft in the air, the veteran keeper soaked in the huge rounds of  applause just moments before he was mobbed by teammates. India had registered a thrilling victory; Karthik was the man of the match for his 29 runs off just 8 balls.

“This is one of the best moments of my life. To get it out there graphically and have people look at it, not to mention the fact that I was an integral part of the whole process was something I thoroughly enjoyed,” said Karthik, in an interview.

The NFT art project was undertaken by Karthik in collaboration with his brother-in-law and top-ranked squash player, Saurav Ghoshal. The duo chanced upon the idea during the lockdown last year and spent a lot of time in fine-tuning the details.

“I was keen on getting my emotion out there in the artwork. I wanted to encapsulate the moment and take the fan through what it must feel like for a cricketer, as the bowler stands at the top of his mark,” said Karthik, “I wanted everybody who has the opportunity to look at this NFT, to feel those moments.”

The NFT will go on auction from October 12 and will be awarded to the highest bidder. “I did a bit of a market research and was interested in exploring this space,” he said, “NFTs are the future, they are  unique products, are going to be part of the new way art is looked at.

What are NFTs?

NFTs or non-fungible tokens have become the new digital route when it comes to selling art. ‘Non-fungible’ by definition means ‘irreplaceable’ and refers to the uniqueness of a product, which is commonly a work of art.

Such artworks have their creators mark out a digital signature on them, which is an indicator of their uniqueness. This uniqueness then becomes a USP that commands a premium in the art buying space, where transactions happen over the blockchain.

In March, digital artwork by the creator, Beeple, sold for $ 69.3 million at the auction house Christie’s, through the NFT route. It remains the most expensive artwork sold through NFTs.

“That was my first introduction to NFTs — when Grimes’ paintings had sold for a substantial amount of money,” Karthik said, “I was interested to know more, began reading up on it, and that’s when my interest in NFTs started catching up.”

Karthik now wants to do what the United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA) does to their videos by turning them into NFTs. “In America, the NBA has used NFTs as a platform to get fans closer to players,” he says, “There is a similar opportunity for Indians who are sports lovers and cricket lovers, and I’m excited about creating a relationship with them.”

Dinesh Karthik’s NFT will be up for auction on the NFT marketplace, Rarible. The NFT art will go on auction from October 12 till October 22 and will require bidders to have the Ethereum Cryptocurrency, to place bids.

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