December 19:

The 16-year-old spinner from Bengal, Prayas Ray Barman, grabbed eyeball when Royal Challengers Bangalore roped in during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 auction for a hefty sum of Rs 1.5 crore. For Prayas, who dreamt of clicking a picture with Virat Kohli, it is a surreal feeling to share the dressing room with him.

Meanwhile, Prayas, who was Bengal’s highest wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this year never thought he would earn such a big purse at the auction. Prayas Ray Barman also noted that sharing the dressing room with the legends will be a learning curve for him.

The feeling has not sunk in. But I’m getting a flood of calls, with several in waiting. Never expected I will be picked,” Prayas told PTI.

Like any other youngster in India, Virat is our role model. I always had a dream to click a photo with Kohli. I’ve tried a lot but did not get any opportunity. Now that I would be sharing the dressing room with my hero is just unbelievable. Sharing the dressing room, practising, interacting with the likes of Kohli, AB de Villiers on a day to day basis. It will be a big learning curve for me,” he adds.

Prayas Ray Barman had an impressive debut against Jammu and Kashmir, bagging 4/20 as he ended up with picking 11 wickets in nine games at an economy rate of 4.45. Despite his efforts, he failed to make the cut in the Ranji Trophy side.

Ranji Trophy is a different ball game. I think I’ve to go a long way to play Ranji. I was in the 15 though and learnt a lot from skipper Manoj Tiwary and coach Sairaj Bahutule,” he said.

In conclusion, he credited his father for all his success and admitted that he also persuaded him to play cricket.