Tilak Varma in IPL: An Inspiring Story Of Mumbai Indian’s New Recruit Tilak Varma

New Delhi: The ongoing IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals is seen by cricket pundits as Team India’s current skipper versus potential future India captain. Ishan Kishan, who stood out with his terrific knock, has fired his Mumbai side to 177/5. In the middle overs, it was Tilak Varma, who came at number 4, kept the scorecard ticking along with Ishan. Tilak kept the strike rotating as his 22 runs came off just 15 balls laced with three boundaries.

But who is Tilak Varma, who suddenly broke into the scene and helped change the dynamics of Mumbai’s opening match in this season?

Tilak Varma, a 19-year-old, whose story is as inspiring as any cricketer today, who have come from a humble background. Tilak hailing from Hyderabad is Mumbai Indians’ new recruit whose father Namboori Nagaraju is an electrician, couldn’t afford to continue his son’s cricket coaching.

So the southpaw’s coach, Salam Bayash, took care of all his expenses, provided him proper training and even gave him all the equipment to continue chasing his dream.

As a young cricketer, Varma had to face many hardships before reaching a stage when he had some of the wealthiest people of the country fighting to bag his services for their respective IPL franchise.

The 19-year-old’s name popped up in the uncapped players’ list in the IPL mega auctions, and MI had to beat the likes of Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in fierce bidding to bag his services for Rs 1.7 crore.

Varma had earned 8.5 times more than his base price, as his bidding started at Rs 20 lakh. Since then, he has been the subject of much discussions in the cricketing world.

Asked about the first reaction of his parents when they got the news, Varma said, “As soon as I got selected for Mumbai Indians, I made a video call to my parents. They were very happy, but unable to say anything; tears were rolling down their eyes. Papa was unable to talk at all. I said that I have been selected for Mumbai Indians. I too had no idea what to say! Then I said that I am disconnecting the phone. It was the most emotional moment of my life.”

Asked about his own feelings when he received the news of being picked by MI, Varma, who usually plays in the middle-order and can chip in with occasional off-spin, said it was surreal.

“I was on a video call with my coach when my name was announced for the auctions. I can’t express my feelings when MI bid for me. I have admired MI since my childhood. I was with my Ranji team when it happened. After hearing the news, all my teammates were very happy and started dancing,” he said.

The Hyderabad cricketer, who was part the triumphant India team that won the U-19 ODI World Cup earlier this year, recalled his early days when he had to wait for basic things.

“My father never says no to anything. He used to say that it will happen, but due to lack of money, he could not afford many things. I broke my bat once. So he said that he would buy a new one, but could not buy it for a long time.

“I then continued to play with the same broken bat. With the broken bat I made the highest runs in U-16 cricket. When my coach saw this, he bought me everything I needed. Whatever I am today is due to my Coach sir,” the southpaw concluded.

(With IANS inputs)

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