Mumbai: His father, Kumar Mangalam Birla, is one of the biggest industrialists in the country and he could have easily chosen the path of joining his father’s business. But instead Aryaman Vikram Birla chose to toil hard and try his luck on the cricket field and at the cost of leaving luxury rides for train rides and leaving Mumbai for Madhya Pradesh.
And while today, he was not a part of any team’s plans at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 Player Auction, with the second round of players who were unsold initially, he was picked by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 30 lakhs. A second coming of a different kind but he must be a happy man.
Check out: How Day 2 of the IPL 2018 auction unfolded
After all, getting a chance to play alongside Steve Smith, one of the best modern-day batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, Indian cricket team vice-captain in Test cricket, and Ben Stokes, one of the leading all-rounders in the game currently, does not come everyday.
While riches of all kinds would have come to him easily, he has chosen to take a hard way to achieve his dream to play cricket and if you ask him, he says playing cricket comes naturally to him.
“I’ve played cricket my entire life. I was eight, maybe nine-years-old when I started playing. I played a lot of sports when I was very little, but cricket was the one that stood out for me. There was no definite moment when I realised I wanted to pursue it as my career; it was a natural progression from it being a hobby to now playing it professionally,” said Aryaman Vikram Birla while speaking with Deccan Chronicle last year.
Aryaman grabbed headlines when he smashed 153, playing for Madhya Pradesh against Odisha in Indore in October last year during the Under-23 Col CK Nayudu Trophy. While he credits the toil he went through in Mumbai cricket for his steady progress, he realised that the opportunities are drying up fast in Mumbai as he moved states and went to represent Madhya Pradesh.
“Playing in Mumbai is a great learning process. Growing up with cricketers that I did, I learned a lot. Slogging it out in the Mumbai nets has been important not only for me, but it is so for every aspiring cricketer. And it’s not something I’ve had to do differently,” said Aryaman.
He also spoke candidly about his decision to move to Madhya Pradesh.
“Obviously, it wasn’t easy moving away from home, but it’s a decision I’m glad I took. It was a calculated decision. The first two years weren’t easy at all, but I’ve gotten used to it now, and I love challenges. It has been different being away from home, but I take these things in my stride and move ahead.”
The youngster also made it clear that he is not much bothered about anything outside cricket.
“No, my main aim was always to work on my cricket. Anything outside of it, I wasn’t bothered about much,” said Aryaman.
Aryaman, while speaking with this newspaper, had also spoken about why he wanted to play IPL and Sunday's auction in Bengaluru has offered him that chance.
“I do have some personal goals, and the IPL provides for a great platform for any cricketer to showcase their skills,” he said.
“It’s something that’s on my mind for sure, but I’m very focused on the present and playing for the Under-23s. In all these years, I’ve learned that the process is the most important thing, and I’m just trying to concentrate on that,” he concluded.
(With inputs from Nishtha Kanal)