Cricket is undoubtedly the richest sport in India, with the players earning in millions and billions. With cash-rich tournaments like IPL, BCCI's huge salary caps, lucrative brand endorsements, mega sponsorship contracts, the cricketers are the most wealthy people in the country. However, much to the surprise of everyone, the richest cricketer in India is neither Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni.
Businessman and cricketer
Aryaman Birla, the son of business tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla, is notably the richest Indian to have ever played professional cricket in the country. He has a net worth of INR 70,000 crores and was in line to take over the multi-million dollar Aditya Birla Group. Notably, his net worth is way more than that of other successful Indian cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar (INR 1090 crores), MS Dhoni (INR 826 crores) and Virat Kohli (INR 688 crores).
However, not many people are aware of the fact that the left-handed batsman was once the next rising star in cricket as he chose an extremely unique path for himself. Aryaman made his first class debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season. The 23-year-old also has a century to his name which he hit in November 2018 against Bengal.
"Someone might say there's pressure because of your name. Of course, 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 counts. It's a great responsibility for me and I would love to take it forward," quoted Aryaman in conversation with Economic Times after his ton.
Aryaman's journey from IPL to sabbatical
The 23-year-old has scored 414 runs in 9 matches in his first-class career. He was also bought by Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018 auction for INR 30 Lakhs. However, the left-handed batsman never played a match for the franchise. In a surprising turn of events, Aryaman left cricket in 2019 and took a sabbatical from the sport to focus on his mental health.
He was subsequently released from Rajasthan Royals ahead of IPL 2020 auction. Notably, Aryaman is currently pursuing a commerce degree through distance learning from the University of Mumbai and is expected to focus on his business career from now on.