Riyan Parag idolises MS Dhoni, his picture of him with the former Indian skipper as a child and now as an opponent in the IPL is a testament to the fact that the kid from Guwahati has made giant strides in the cricketing arena, all whilst being in his teens. Riyan has a bright career ahead of him and the 2020 season might just be the breakout season for him.
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At the mere age of 16, Riyan Parag made his first-class debut for Assam in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy on 17 November 2017. Before his FC debut, Parag already had a crack in the competitive level when he made his Twenty20 debut for Assam in the 2016–17 Inter State Twenty-20 Tournament on 29 January 2017. His impressive performances in the domestic setp for Assam was quickly noticed and he was drafted into the Under-19 World Cup squad that eventually won the trophy.
The World cup success was preceded by another successful overseas outing, this time in the red-ball format of the game as the Indian colts demolished their English counterparts in a 2-Test series. Only 15 then, Parag played his part in the monumental success, stroking three half-centuries, including fifties in both innings of the first unofficial Test.
After some impressive performances in the domestic circuit, the talented right-hand batsman was snaffled up by Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 auctions at his base price of Rs. 20 lakh. In the next season, Parag hit his maiden fifty and became the youngest player in IPL to hit a fifty, leaving behind Sanju Samson and Prithvi Shaw. He played 7 matches in his rookie season scoring 160 runs and will be looking to take things to the next level in the 2020 season.
Riyan Parag hails from a sports family background as his father is a former Assam Ranji cricket player and his mother is a national record holder swimmer. He started playing cricket at a very young age and was the part of the Assam Under-16 cricket team when he was 12.
Many years ago, his father and Dhoni featured in Railways' tournaments together in Kharagpur and Guwahati. They even finished top of the run-charts for their department in the Inter-Railways competitions in Nagpur in 2004, just before his India debut. They have also played against each other in the Ranji Trophy, when Dhoni turned up for Bihar several years ago. On Parag's IPL debut, Dhoni was keeping wicket and captaining the opposition.