Prayas Ray Barman scripted history on Sunday when he became the youngest-ever debutant in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, that’s not the only task on his plate, the 16-year-old is also juggling between his class 12 board exams. Two days prior to the match, Prayas was sat at the Kalyani Public School in Kolkata, where he studies commerce, for his Economics exam. He will now return for his Entrepreneurship exam on April 4.
Following his next exam, Prayas will again join the team on the eve of the match against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 5.
The previous youngest was Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman at 17 years and 11 days for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018.
“It’s tough but he is managing it. He has the full support of the team,” Prayas’s father Dr Kaushik Ray Barman told PTI.
“(Virat) Kohli, AB (de Villiers) and (coach Gary) Kirsten are obviously encouraging him at the nets. Obviously, they have seen some potential in him to pick him ahead of the experienced duo of (Pawan) Negi and Washington Sundar.”
The call-up was completely unexpected for him as at first the team think-tank had decided to go for a seam-attack but skipper Kohli told Prayas of the debut just minutes before going for the toss, his father revealed.
“We were shocked to see his name in the line-up in RCB’s very third match. But he was not nervous,” his dad said.
“He told me ‘this was not my standard. I could have done better.’ I told him not to lose heart and keep his focus. This is just the beginning for him. First, he has to cement his place in Bengal then look beyond.”
Prayas gave six runs in his maiden IPL over against the likes of Warner and Bairstow but things went haywire after that.
The senior Ray Barman said Prayas had a finger bruise that affected him in Sunday’s match.
“He was not nervous. He told me the first over was okay but his finger got a bruise in the second over with the seam of the ball and he started bowling over pitch,” he said.
“It was their (Sunrisers’) day. Two batsmen scoring hundreds is very rare in T20 cricket. It was an unforgettable day for all the RCB bowlers. None of them bowled well.”
At home congratulatory messages started pouring him after his name started flashing on TV and later began to trend on Twitter.
“You are always lucky if you make full use of your first opportunity. All these congratulatory messages will mean only if he does well. He has to learn more, have to be more focused,” Ray Barman said.
(With PTI Inputs)