Dubai: On Friday night, many fans were made to wonder who this 17-year-old Riyan Parag is that cracked a timely invaluable 47 runs that ensured Rajasthan Royals a stunning three-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders. No one expected him to produce such strokes with superb timing.
Parag had also hit 43 against Mumbai Indians and was involved in a 70 runs partnership with Steve Smith that gave Rajasthan a five-wicket win on April 20.
Parag is another boy from a small town. Born in Guwahati in Assam, he has already won the praise of top cricketers. Smith’s comment on the boy reveals the potential in this youngster. “He's a terrific young kid. He works very hard, he's a fit and strong young kid. The way he batted, even in the first game that he played, he taught a lot of the experienced players a few lessons, including myself," remarked Smith, after his match wining partnership with Parag against Mumbai.
Parag took up cricket following the path of his father Parag Das, who represented Assam and Railways. He grew up watching the deep love for sports in his parents as his mother Mithoo Das is a national swimming champion too.
Parag took up cricket and his father groomed him spending hours with throwdowns while training to shape his strokes. No wonder he picks the gaps on the field with precision and times his sixes beautifully. His father had played alongside Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Railways tournaments as Dhoni was working for Railways as a ticket examiner.
Parag’s potential won him a place in the victorious Under-19 squad and that also led him to become the third youngest player to feature in the IPL. He made his Twenty20 debut for Assam in 2016-17 season when he was just 15 years old. He got named in the 2017 ACC Under-19 Asia Cup and also made his Ranji Trophy debut in November 2017. Since his debut, Parag has been scoring consistently and became the leading run getter for Assam in 2018-19 Vijay Hazare trophy, scoring 248 runs from seven matches. He was bought by Rajasthan in the auction for 2019 IPL for the base price of around Rs 20 Lakhs (Dh 110,000 approx).
Today Parag is Rajasthan’s invaluable player. Parag has only one aim now and that is to learn as much as possible from the IPL asking questions to all the seniors in the team. He is now making all senior turns their heads towards him.