Aryaman Birla ‘really excited’ to be part of Rajasthan Royals

The 20-year-old batsman from Madhya Pradesh, who hails from the illustrious industrialist family of the Birlas, looks at the IPL as a ‘big platform’ to showcase his talent.

The upcoming season will be Aryaman Birla’s first in the Indian Premier League.   -  Facebook/Aryaman VB

Aryaman Vikram Birla is a 20-year-old batsman from Madhya Pradesh who will ply his trade in the Indian Premier League this season. Unlike others in the fray, however, for him, the tourney is a cricketing platform and not a means of financial support.

For Birla, who has excelled at the U-23 level and the Ranji Trophy, comes from the illustrious family of the Birlas and his father, Kumar Mangalam Birla, happens to be one of the major business tycoons of the country. So, why would he need to play for an IPL team when he can own one? His reply: “For every cricketer, IPL is a big platform and I want to show my talent.”

Birla is excited to be a part of Rajasthan Royals this season. The Jaipur-based franchise, which is known for scouting young talents, has snapped up Aryaman for Rs 30 lakh in the auctions on Sunday, and he can’t wait to share the dressing room with superstars — Ben Stokes, Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. “It is a huge learning curve for me. For a young cricketer, this is a huge opportunity and I am really excited to be part of the side and share the dressing room with so many legends,” Aryaman tells Sportstar in one breath.

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Currently in Nagpur for the U-23 one-dayers, Aryaman has not been keeping well for the last couple of days, but that hasn’t mitigated his elation. “It is an amazing platform, where one gets to learn from the best in the business and I just want to soak in all those moments,” Aryaman says.

Struggling years

For him, it is a dream come true. After all, it is because of cricket that he had to leave his home in Mumbai and settle far away to pursue his dreams. Despite luxuries and deep pockets, life has not been a bed of roses for him; he had to move to a small town of Madhya Pradesh, Rewa, to revive his career.

“I moved to MP some three years ago. I wasn’t getting opportunities in Mumbai, and that’s when I got a chance to play for Rewa district in MP. Even coming to that team was not easy; I had to perform to book a place. I am glad I did that,” Aryaman says.

The hard work has finally paid off. After making it to Madhya Pradesh squad in the Ranji Trophy, Aryaman will now be trying out his luck in the fast and furious format of the game. “My parents (Kumar Mangalam and Neerja Birla) are very happy. I was in the ground during the auction, and I only heard about it after the auction got over. The entire family is extremely happy,” he says.

So, will the entire Birla family be present at the ground to cheer for him and his team - Rajasthan Royals - when the tournament begins in April? Aryaman laughs and counters, “For me, it gets more highlighted because of my surname. But isn’t it same for all the families?”

The cricket devotee, in his moment under spotlight, is not ready to take things easy. After all, after waiting at the sidelines for long, his turn has finally come to hit the ground, and he can’t afford to throw away his ‘wicket’.