Prayas Ray Barman, the IPL's youngest debutant, has revealed that he places the completion of an undergraduate degree ahead of a return to the IPL. Barman was picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 1.5 crore at the 2019 IPL auction but played just one match throughout the season.
The biggest surprise during the last year’s IPL season wasn’t the money that RCB shelled out for a 16-year-old lanky leggie, but the fact that he got to play at all. Having assumed he would spend all season practising and being groomed for the next year, Barman was included in only the third match — against Sunrisers Hyderabad — of what would be another miserable campaign for the Bengaluru-based side.
But that’s where the fairytale ended for the teenager, who then suffered one injury setback after another, starting off with a stress fracture. Looking ahead, however, Barman is concentrating on his studies rather than making a comeback into the cash-rich T20 league.
"If I was there in the Syed Mushtaq Ali squad and played one or two matches, I think the chances of getting back (into the IPL) would have been more. It's been kind of a not-so-methodical way that I'm leading my life right now. Need to take some time and do a bit of work so that I'm moving towards one goal. You have to finish graduating. I've not been attending college, [but my] college is supportive. Not even my parents are giving me a lot of pressure to study. They're just hoping I get my degree,” Barman told ESPNCricinfo.
Post his stress fracture injury which sidelined him for three months at least, Barman focused on getting picked for the Under-19 World Cup. After four months of recovery, he suffered a finger injury on the eve of the 2019 Vijay Hazare Trophy, ending his U-19 dreams along with prospects of being back in the IPL for the 2020 season. As he plots a way to become a multi-dimensional, multi-format leg spinner, Barman has shed the pressure that comes with being an IPL player. His first and only IPL outing ended with him going for 56 runs from his quota of four overs.
"There was this feeling that I was not able to deliver for the team. But I knew that the likes of (Yuzvendra) Chahal, Umesh Yadav, all these world-class bowlers had been hit for some runs. So I was like, I've not done good, but it's okay, it's a bad day for the team. Gary said, 'It's all right, you were good, there's nothing to worry about,’ Barman added.
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