Ranji Trophy: Birla boy Aryaman likely to make MP debut

The 20-year-old, son of business tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla, admits it is a big responsibility to have such a surname, but then, there is no connection with his name and the game.

Aryaman Vikram Birla had to move to a Madhya Pradesh small town, Rewa, to revive his career three years ago.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


The name ‘Birla’ is not often heard in cricket, but at times, passion overrules traditions. Aryaman Vikram Birla — a 20-year-old cricketer from the industrious business family — is one such example. The lad, who preferred checking cricket scores to balance sheets, is likely to make his Ranji Trophy debut for Madhya Pradesh (MP) against Tamil Nadu in Indore this week.

When asked why he chose to pursue cricket when he could have joined the family business, he laughs a bit and says his passion for the game took him out of his comfort zone. “I started playing at the age of eight or nine. That time, it was just a passion. Slowly, it grew on me,” Aryaman tells Sportstar.

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His father is one of the top-most business tycoon’s of the country, Kumar Mangalam Birla. But Aryaman is out to make a name for himself in the cricketing circles. “I am grateful for the surname. It is a very big responsibility to have such a surname, but then, there is no connection with my name and the game,” he says, quickly adding that as a cricketer, the journey is never easy. “There is a lot of responsibility. I work hard on my skills, and whatever I have to do to achieve my goals,” he adds.

Despite luxuries and deep pockets, life has not been a bed of roses for the young gun, who had to move to a Madhya Pradesh small town, 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.

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What looked like a risky move has finally paid rich dividends as Aryaman scored a double century (238) against Chhattisharh in a C.K. Nayudu Trophy match. It opened his doors to the MP Ranji Trophy side.

“It is a great opportunity, but then, lets see if I make it to the playing eleven,” a cautious Aryaman says. So, will his parents — Kumar Mangalam and Neerja — be present in Indore for his Ranji Trophy debut? The young gun smiles and says, “I don’t know. It all depends on whether I make the cut.”

The formative years have taught him to be patient and take things in his stride. “It was tough, but then, there was nothing to adjust. All my team-mates in Rewa were friendly and there was never a problem,” the left-handed batsman says.

At a time, when most of the top business groups of the country have associated themselves in cricket, Birlas have stayed away. So, does he dream of owning a cricket franchise some time soon? “You need to ask my dad…”

That’s a 20-year-old talking!

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