Not Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni; this 23-year-old is richest Indian cricketer

Struggling to the cricket scene in India has its own perks after all, because match fees are usually hefty. And there are yearly contract fees and performance-based bonuses. Plus, if one attains a star image, they make exorbitant amounts of money through playing Indian Premier League (IPL), brand endorsements and other private contracts that only makes them richer.

But this probably made the likes of Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar richer. But there’s one cricketer who did not have to toil as much, but is richer than all of them.

Aryaman, a 23-year-old, who represented Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji trophy is a little-known for cricket buffs. But those who know are most likely to identify him as a scion, not as a cricketer. Son of industrialist and business tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, Aryaman Birla is the heir apparent of the company.

The Birla group has a strong foothold in metal, cement, retail and telecom industries and its revenue, wait for this — is $48 billion (as of March 2019). Only Kumar Mangalam Birla, the 53-year-old at the helm of the group, saw his wealth surge by 61% to $9.2 billion (920 crore!), between 2020 and 2021.

Needless to say, Aryaman would eventually become the active owner of this gigantic net worth.

Aryaman’s foray into cricket

Jr. Birla had slightly different plans away from family business from a very young age. He was fascinated by cricket and took baby steps towards the game in his teen years. 

“There’s a legacy that I would love to build on in my own way. But when you’re playing you just keep your focus on the ball. It’s the 22 yards that count. It’s a great responsibility for me and I would love to take it forward,” Aryaman said, in an interview with Economics Times.

In 2017-18, he was the highest under-23 run-scorer across India, and notched up one double century and three centuries and took ten wickets in that season.

In November 2018, he made heads turn when he scored a maiden century in first-class cricket at the iconic Eden Gardens. No sooner, Rajasthan Royal picked this southpaw in 2018.

Will Aryaman make it big in cricket?

However, at this point, it is not clear whether Aryaman would continue to play cricket and make his way into the Indian team. During a practice session, the left-hand batsman suffered an unfortunate fracture in his right thumb. Besides, he is known to have been suffering from anxiety and has taken a sabbatical from cricket to focus on his mental health.

“I hope to be back on the field when the time is right,” Aryaman wrote, announcing his undefined sabbatical.

In fact, Aryaman has since then is actively involved in conversations about mental health. With the #LetsTalk1on1 initiative along with his mother Neerja Birla and sister Ananya Birla, Aryaman now is a part of the team that provides comfort to those people during the lockdown, who are finding it difficult to cope.