Riyan Parag received his maiden call-up to the Indian cricket team for the five-match T20 International series against Zimbabwe, to be played in July, after his sensational Indian Premier League 2024 season with Rajasthan Royals.

The 22-year-old Parag was in ominous form in IPL 2024 amassing 573 runs from 14 innings to finish as the third-highest run getter in the tournament this year.

Riyan Parag was born into a family of sportspersons. His father Parag Kumar Das was a former First-Class cricketer who represented Assam, Railways and the East Zone teams in his playing days. Parag’s mother Mithu Baruah was a former national swimming champion who represented India at the Asian Championships and South Asian Games.


Riyan Parag’s early days


For Parag, 2017 was an important year as an upcoming cricketer. At just 15, and barely weeks before his 10th standard board examinations, Parag received a call-up to the Assam senior team for the Inter-State T20 competition.

Later in the year, he finished as the second-highest run-getter in the Cooch Behar Trophy 2016-17, the national inter-state tournament for U19 cricketers, with 642 runs from 14 innings, that included a best score of an unbeaten 202.

That opened the gates for Parag’s selection to the India Under-19 squad for the two youth Tests in England. At a very young age, Parag showed that he was ready for the rigours of multi-day cricket as he finished second in the batting charts for India. Parag scored 178 runs from four innings, that included three fifties, and averaged 44.50.

Parag made his First-Class debut for Assam in the Ranji Trophy towards the end of the same year. Soon, he was on the flight with the Indian team for the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand. But a finger injury meant he could take part only in the later stages of the tournament, which India won.

Parag continued his good work into the next season when he finished as Assam’s top run-getter in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the premier 50-over tournament in India, in the 2018-19 season with 248 runs.


Riyan Parag in IPL with Rajasthan Royals


Parag was signed by Rajasthan Royals as a 17-year-old in the players’ auction ahead of IPL 2019. He responded in style by becoming the youngest player, at 17 years and 175 days, to hit a half-century in the IPL. Interestingly, the previous record of 18 years and 169 days was held by Sanju Samson along with Prithvi Shaw.

The Royals kept their faith in Parag and re-signed him ahead of IPL 2022. Parag took 17 catches in IPL 2022, the most by any Indian fielder in the tournament, and also scored a match-winning fifty for the Royals in one of their games against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Meanwhile, Parag continued to make steady strides in domestic cricket and became an integral part of the Assam cricket team. In the 2022-23 Vijay Hazare Trophy, he once again finished as Assam’s top-scorer, and fifth overall, with 552 runs at an average of 69. He scored three hundreds, a fifty and also picked up 10 wickets with the ball that season.

In the 2023 Deodhar Trophy, the inter-zonal limited-overs competition, Parag was adjudged the Player of the Series for his 354 runs at an average of 88.50. He was also instrumental with the ball as he picked up 11 wickets and averaged 19.09.

Parag was honoured with the Lala Amarnath award for the best all-rounder in domestic cricket by the BCCI for his splendid performance in 2022-23. Incidentally, the Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma presented the award to Parag. 


Riyan Parag’s breakout season


The 2023-24 season was a breakout stint for Parag starting with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the domestic T20 tournament. Captaining Assam, Parag finished as the highest run-getter in the tournament as he amassed 510 runs from 10 matches at an astonishing average of 85.00 and a strike rate of 182.79. 

Parag also topped the six-hitting charts with a mammoth 40 hits over the fence. He also shone with the ball picking up 11 wickets at an average of under 25 and a strike rate of just over 20. 

In the Ranji Trophy that followed, Parag accumulated 378 runs from six visits to the crease at an average of 75.60 showing his adaptability from white ball to red ball in quick time.

Parag finished on top of the batting charts for the Royals in the IPL 2024 ahead of skipper Sanju Samson and helped the team reach the qualifiers for a second time in three years. He had the most runs for an uncapped Indian player in this IPL as he averaged 52.09 with the bat and scored runs at a strike rate of 149.21.

A wonderful season with all the hard work and results has culminated with his call-up to the Indian team for the Zimbabwe tour which commences on July 6.

"At some point, you'll have to take me, right? So that is my belief, I'm going to play for India," Parag was quoted as saying by PTI after the IPL 2024 season. "I don't really care when.

"That is me believing in myself. That is not me being arrogant. That is what my plan was with my dad when I started playing cricket when I was like 10 years old. We were going to play for India regardless of anything."


Riyan Parag cricket career timeline





2nd highest run-getter in Cooch Behar Trophy (642 runs)


Debut for Assam as a 15-year-old in the inter-state T20 tournament


First-Class debut for Assam 


Won the U-19 World Cup with India


Assam's highest run-scorer in Vijay Hazare Trophy (248 runs)


IPL debut with Rajasthan Royals, becomes youngest half-centurion at 17y, 175d


Most runs for Assam in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (261 runs)


Most runs for Assam in Vijay Hazare Trophy (215 runs)


Most catches by a non-wicket-keeper in an IPL season (17)


Most runs for Assam in Vijay Hazare Trophy (552 runs)


Player of the Series, most runs in Deodhar Trophy (354 runs)


Highest run-scorer in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (510 runs)


2nd fastest-century in Ranji Trophy history (56 balls)


Most runs by an uncapped Indian in the season


Maiden India call-up