2023 IPL auction – Vivrant Sharma lives his brother’s dream with Sunrisers Hyderabad deal

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Vivrant Sharma was packing in a hotel in Ahmedabad after the loss to Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy. The IPL auction was playing in the background on the TV, but it was only when the sets of the capped players were over that it was known that their names would be revealed soon.

As the 23-year-old all-rounder from Jammu and Kashmir observed, he saw Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders fighting for his services. The base price of INR 20 lakh (USD 24,000 approx) swelled to over a crore in no time. When the hammer finally went down a few minutes later, he was signed up for Rs 2.6 crore (about USD 317,000), an amount he definitely “didn’t expect”. He hoped that he would be elected. It was “unimaginable”.

After this Vivrant’s first step was to call his mother and elder brother Vikrant, who inspired him to become a cricketer. Vikrant aspired to become a fast bowler and even represented his university, but stepped aside after the death of his father Sushant Sharma in 2020 to manage the family chemical business.

Along with the family business, Vikrant’s focus was to ensure that Vivrant fulfills his passion. That dream began to take shape in February 2021, when he made his List A debut for his state. Earlier this month, the much-anticipated Ranji Trophy kicked off. On Friday, he took the next step.

“My cricket would have stopped but Vikrant ensured that it continues uninterrupted as he took over the family business and started fulfilling his dreams through me,” Vivrant told PTI. “It was all because of my brother’s sacrifice. Otherwise I would not be here. I was not good in studies but Vikrant made sure that I continue to focus on cricket and keep progressing.”

However, this will not be Vivrant’s first brush with the IPL. Earlier this year, on Abdul Samad’s recommendation, he was the net bowler for Sunrisers, bowling handy legspin. It was during a training session, where the reserve players were doing range hitting, that Vivrant got a glimpse of his big-hitting abilities.
He gave further proof of his abilities during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy domestic T20I in October, when he made 128 runs in four innings With a strike rate of 145.45. There was one particular knock against Karnataka which he picked as a turning point.

In the chase of 148 on a slushy surface at Chandigarh’s Mullanpur Stadium, Vivant found himself batting with the lower order as Jammu and Kashmir were bowled out for 31 for 6. J&K lost the game, but Vivrant had left his mark. With the ball, he took six wickets in total at an economy of 4.80.

He then made a solid comeback in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he was the team’s second highest run-scorer. 395 runs in eight innings With an average of 56.42 and a strike rate of 94.72. This included a 124-ball 154 against Uttarakhand which took Jammu and Kashmir into the preliminary quarter-finals. He also took five wickets in the tournament.

Given these numbers, he held out hope of an IPL deal, but “I didn’t expect such a huge amount. I was just hoping someone would pick me up.”

Vivrant is a diehard fan of Yuvraj Singh. He is also thankful to former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who was J&K’s mentor for two seasons, for his support. He said, ‘Irfan, being a left-handed batsman himself, has also impressed me a lot.’ “He is a player’s coach and is still in touch with us. I am sure he will be very happy today.”
Come IPL, Vibrant Sunrisers hopes to pick Brian Lara’s mind. But, for now, his focus is on doing well for Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy. “There’s a lot of hope [from me], I just want to stay grounded and keep learning.”

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