2023 IPL Auction – Viverant Sharma Lives His Brother’s Dream With Sunrisers Hyderabad Contract

Viverant Sharma was packing at a hotel in Ahmedabad after the Ranji Trophy defeat by Gujarat. The IPL auction was playing in the background on TV, but it was only when the limited-overs sets were finished that his name would soon come up.

As the 23-year-old all-rounder from Jammu and Kashmir watched, he saw Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders vying for his services. A base price of INR 20 lakhs (approx. USD 24,000) crossed the one crore mark in no time. When the hammer finally went down a few minutes later, he was signed up for INR 2.6 crore ($317,000 approx), which he certainly “didn’t expect”. The one she hoped would pick her. It was “unthinkable”.

Viverant’s first move after that was to call his mother and elder brother Vikrant, who encouraged him to become a cricketer. Vikrant aspired to become a fast bowler and even represented his university, but stepped aside after the death of his father Sushant Sharma in 2020 to take over the family’s chemical business.

Along with the family business, Vikrant’s focus was to ensure that Vivrant kept his passion alive. That dream began to take shape in February 2021, when he made his List A debut for his state. Earlier this month, the much-anticipated Ranji Trophy debuted. On Friday, he took the next step.

“My cricket would have stopped but Vikrant made sure it continued uninterrupted as he took over the family business and started living his dreams through me,” Vivaranth told PTI. “It’s all because of my brother’s sacrifice. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. I wasn’t good at studies, but Vikrant made sure I stayed focused on cricket and progressed.”

However, this will not be Variant’s first brush with the IPL. Earlier this year, on Abdul Samad’s recommendation, he was a net bowler for Sunrisers, bowling handy leg spin. It was there, during a training session, where the reserve players were hitting the range, that Vivrant showed glimpses of his big hitting abilities.
He provided further proof of his abilities during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy domestic T20 in October, when he scored 128 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 145.45. There was one particular knock against Karnataka, which he singles out as a turning point.

Chasing a sluggish 148 at the Milanpur Stadium in Chandigarh, Viverant found himself batting with the lower order as J&K slumped to 31 for 6. Vivaranth mounted a formidable counter-attack to score 63 off 46 balls with six fours and two sixes. Jammu and Kashmir lost the game, but Viverant had made his mark. With the ball, overall, he took six wickets at an economy of 4.80.

He then made a solid comeback in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he was the team’s second highest run-scorer with 395 runs in eight innings at an average of 56.42 and a strike rate of 94.72. This included a 154 off 124 balls against Uttarakhand which sent Jammu and Kashmir into the preliminary quarter-finals. He also took five wickets in the tournament.

Given those numbers, he remained hopeful of an IPL contract, but “I never expected that much money. I was just hoping that someone would pick me.”

Viverant is a die-hard fan of Yuvraj Singh. He also thanks former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who was J&K’s mentor for two seasons, for his support. “Being a left-handed player, Irfan has also impressed me a lot,” he said. “He is a player’s coach and is still in touch with us. I am sure he will be very happy today.”
Come the IPL, the varsity will be hoping to take the brains of Brian Lara at Sunrisers. But, for now, his focus is on doing well for Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy. “There are a lot of expectations. [from me]. I just want to keep going and keep learning.”

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