The young cricketer made his IPL debut for the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday against Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.

6-year-old fan turned IPL rival The story behind Riyan Parag and MS Dhonis photo
news Sports Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 14:11

Seventeen-year-old budding cricket star Riyan Parag was not even six when he had first met and got a photo clicked with his idol MS Dhoni. That was in 2007 when India was playing a match in Guwahati against Pakistan in a bilateral series. India won that match, with Dhoni leading from the front scoring an impressive 63 runs.

Twelve years down the line, the young cricketer made his IPL debut for the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium against Dhoni, who was leading the Chennai Super Kings.

Dhoni (37) had made his international debut in 2004 when Riyan was just three. This age difference between the two caught the attention of Twitterati.

Incidentally, on Thursday Riyan got out scoring 16 runs after he was caught behind by Dhoni. While Super Kings won the match in a last-ball thriller, the two players caught up after more than a decade. A collage of the old photo and the new photo after Thursday’s match was widely shared.

Riyan, who hails from Assam, is one of India’s exciting new talents. The right-hand batsman and leg spinner was also part of the Indian team that won the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2018.

Having made his T20 debut for Assam in the 2016-17 season during the domestic inter-state tournament, Riyan had successfully placed himself in the India’s U-19 Asia Cup squad. He has also featured in two tests for the Indian U-19 team in England, playing a crucial knock in one of the matches that India won in the tour.

Riyan also has the second fastest 50 in U-19 cricket after Virat Kohli. He is also India’s second highest run getter in tests in the youth circuit.

Riyan’s parents are both accomplished sportspersons. His father Parag Das is a former first-class cricketer and his mother Mithoo Barooah is a national record holder in swimming. She has also represented the country at the Asian Championships and SAF Games.