Riyan Parag idolises MS Dhoni, and his photo of him with the former Indian captain as a child and now as an opponent in the IPL is evidence that the Guwahati native has taken major strides in the game while still in his teens. Riyan has a promising future ahead of him, and the 2020 season may be his breakthrough year.
Riyan Parag made his first-class debut for Assam in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy on November 17th at the age of 16. Parag had already had a taste of international cricket when he made his Twenty20 debut for Assam in the 2016–17 Inter State Twenty-20 Tournament on January 29, 2017. His outstanding domestic exploits for Assam were soon noted, and he was incorporated into the Under-19 World Cup team, which went on to win the trophy.
The World Cup triumph was followed by another good overseas appearance, this time in the red-ball style of the game, as the Indian colts thrashed their English counterparts in a two-match series. Parag, who was just 15 at the time, contributed to the landmark triumph by reaching three half-centuries, including fifties in both innings of the first unofficial Test.
The talented right-hand batsman was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals at his base price of Rs. 20 lakh in the 2018 auctions after some outstanding performances in the domestic circuit. Parag crossed his first fifty in the following season, becoming the youngest player in the IPL to do so, surpassing Sanju Samson and Prithvi Shaw. He scored 160 runs in seven matches during his rookie season and will be looking to progress in the 2020 season.
Riyan Parag comes from a sporting family: his father was a former Assam Ranji cricketer, and his mother is a national record-holding swimmer. He began playing cricket at a young age and, at the age of 12, was a member of the Assam Under-16 cricket team.
His father and Dhoni played together in Railways tournaments in Kharagpur and Guwahati many years back. They also won their department’s run-charts at the Inter-Railways competitions in Nagpur in 2004, just before he made his India debut. They’ve already faced each other in the Ranji Trophy, when Dhoni represented Bihar a few years ago. Dhoni was holding wicket and captaining the opposition on Parag’s IPL debut.