In the recently concluded Men’s IPL, Rajasthan Royals found a gem in their ranks in 17-year old Riyan Parag. He broke into the ranks and became the youngest cricketer to score a fifty in the history of IPL.
Riyan has admitted that one of his cricketing heroes is ICC No. 1 player and India’s T20 Vice Captain Smriti Mandhana. Riyan has been following Mandhana since her early years when she used to wear spectacles.
When asked about his cricket heroes, Parag said, “My dad is one of them (idols). He has to be the first one. Then there’s Sachin (Tendulkar) sir and Virat Kohli”.
He further added, “And in women’s cricket, I’ve followed Smriti Mandhana since she used to wear glasses and play with a BAS bat. I was really young then. I love the way she times the ball and caresses it through point. I’ve tried copying that as well but it didn’t work out”.
This is one the rare occasions when male cricketers have openly admitted that their source of inspiration is indeed a female player.