Brothers sacrificing their careers for their younger siblings is not new in Indian cricket. On Friday, the latest IPL millionaire Vivrant Sharma credited brother Vikrant for the biggest achievement of his career — a Rs 2.6 crore pay cheque to don the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) jersey in the 2023 edition of the league. Two years after he started following into the footsteps of his elder brother, Jammu and Kashmir’s left-handed batter Vivrant lost his father Sushant to kidney failure.
The Sharmas were suddenly left with no one to take care of the chemical business. And 26-year-old Vikrant, a university-level pace bowler hoping to make it to the Ranji side, found himself shelving his cricketing plans to take care of the family business.
But Vikrant promised Vivrant all possible help to further his cricketing ambitions.
Such was Vikrant’s influence that Vivrant, initially a right-hander, changed his stance and technique and became a “leftie”.
“My cricket would have come to a halt but Vikrant ensured that it continued non-stop as he took over the family business and started living his dreams through me,” an emotional Vivrant told PTI moments after he was bought by SRH after a bidding war with Kolkata Knight Riders.
“It’s all because of my brother’s sacrifice. I would not have been here otherwise. I was not good at studies, but Vikrant ensured I continued to focus on cricket and keep making progress,” said Vivrant.
“I miss my father a lot. I’m sure he would be happy for me. I just spoke to my mother and brother in Trikuta Nagar (in Jammu) and they became emotional. I hope I am able to make full use of the opportunity,” said Vivrant.
The 23-year-old also thanked his Jammu and Kashmir team-mates, Umran Malik and Abdul Samad, who supported him all through.
An all-rounder, Vivrant was a net bowler for SRH last year and also appeared for trials at KKR, but failed to impress either of the two sides last season.
Having entered the auction pool at a base price of Rs 20 lakh, Vivrant was nervous in his hotel room in Ahmedabad on Friday, a day after Jammu and Kashmir were beaten by Gujarat inside three days in Ranji Trophy.
But as the bidding war between SRH and KKR intensified, there was soon jubilation in his room.
“Never expected such an amount. I was expecting somebody would pick me as I had a very good white-ball season,” said Vivrant, who made headlines in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with his 124-ball 154 against Uttarakhand.
The knock had propelled Jammu and Kashmir to their maiden knockout berth in the history of the tournament.
He also scored a 62-ball 69 as J&K chased down 343 against defending Ranji champions Madhya Pradesh as he finished as the team’s second-highest scorer in the 50-over tournament, with 395 runs at an average of 56.42.
He scored two half centuries in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, aggregating 128 runs at a strike rate of 145.45. The leg-spinner was also the team’s top wicket-taker with six wickets at an economy of 4.80.
A die-hard Yuvraj Singh fan, Vivrant said, “I’ve been following him since childhood; he has an aura about him. I got a chance to meet him once when he was playing at Palam (in Delhi) and I clicked a photo with him.” He also thanked former mentor and ex-India pace bowler Irfan Pathan.
“Being a left-hander himself, Irfan too has influenced me a lot. He is a player’s coach and is still in touch with us. I’m sure he will be very happy today.” Vivrant made his senior debut two seasons back after making the cut through age-group tournaments and has not looked back since. A clean striker of the ball, the J&K opener is now excited to work with legendary West Indies cricketer Brian Lara, who is the head coach of SRH.
“There are a lot of expectations (from me). I just want to stay grounded and keep learning,” he said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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