Namboori Thakur Tilak Varma is an Indian cricketer, who played for the Indian cricket team in the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. In February 2022, Tilak was bought by Mumbai Indians, a franchise cricket team based in Mumbai, in the auction for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.
Tilak Varma was born on Friday, 8 November 2002 (age 19 years; as of 2021) in Hyderabad, Telangana. His zodiac sign is Scorpio. He did his schooling at The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, Hyderabad. He was inclined towards sports since childhood. At the age of 10, he got himself enrolled in the Legala Sports Academy, Telangana, to receive his training in cricket. Tilak trained under the cricket coach Salam Bayash.
When Tilak’s father couldn’t afford to continue his son’s cricket coaching, his (Tilak’s) coach took care of all his expenses and ensured that he was provided with everything that he required during training.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11
Weight (approx.): 70 Kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest 40″, Waist 32″, Biceps 12″
Parents & Siblings
Tilak Varma’s father, Namboori Nagaraju, works as an electrician in Hyderabad. His mother’s name is Gayatri. He has an elder brother.
On 30 December 2018, Tilak made his first-class debut for Hyderabad (against Andhra) in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy. He played for Hyderabad’s team in the tournament. Subsequently, he made his Twenty20 debut for Hyderabad in the 2018–19 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on 28 February 2019. He amassed 215 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 147.26 in the tournament.
In the same year, on 28 September, Tilak made his List A debut for Hyderabad in the 2019–20 Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring 180 runs in five games. He also took four wickets in the tournament.
In December 2019, he got selected for the U-19 Indian cricket team for the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. However, he failed to make an impact. Tilak played six games in the competition and scored just 86 runs. He played his first international (Under-19) match on 19 January 2020 against Sri Lanka at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
In February 2022, Mumbai Indians bought Varma at Rs. 1.9 crore during the 2022 Indian Premier League auction. Although the team lost its first two games, Tilak impressed everyone with his performance during the games. In the second match of the league, Tilak scored a 33-ball-61 against Rajasthan Royals at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
- Cricketer: Suresh Raina
- Colour: Blue
- He is a batting all-rounder, who mostly plays in the middle-order.
- He loves playing cover drive and straight drive shots.
- Tilak’s batting style is Left-hand Bat, and his bowling style is right-arm off-break.
- He is an avid dog lover and has a pet dog named Trigger.
- He is an ardent follower of Lord Ganesha.
- His jersey number is 9 (for the Under-19 Indian team as well as for the Mumbai Indians IPL team).
- In March 2022, Tilak’s parents moved to Mumbai to watch him play cricket for the first time. In an interview, his father revealed that he avoided watching him play even when Tilak used to play for Hyderabad. He said,
We had never been to a venue to watch him play. Even when he was leading Hyderabad in age-group tournaments, we avoided being at the ground. But this time, he requested us and we are here to enjoy his game. Going by his commitment and hard work, I am confident he will make the most of opportunities.”
His mother also joined his father. She said,
I am very happy today as we are here to watch his first IPL match. Tilak told us not to worry as he was practising very well and trying his best to contribute to the team.”
- In April 2022, he became the youngest cricketer to score a half-century for Mumbai-Indians (age 19 years and 145 days).
- During an interview, Tilak recalled his childhood days when he had to wait for even basic things. He said,
My father never says no to anything. He used to say that it will happen, but due to lack of money, he could not afford many things. I broke my bat once. So he said that he would buy a new one, but could not buy it for a long time. I then continued to play with the same broken bat. With the broken bat I made the highest runs in U-16 cricket. When my coach saw this, he bought me everything I needed. Whatever I am today is due to my coach Salam sir.”
- During the 2022 Indian Premier League auction, Tilak was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs. 1.9 crore. He earned 8.5 times more than his base price, as his bidding started at Rs. 20 lakh. In an interview, when Varma was asked about his parents’ and coach’s reaction when they heard about his IPL bid, he said,
The day the IPL auction was going on, I was on a video call with my coach. My coach started tearing up when the bids kept going higher. After I was picked up, I called up my parents. They too started crying over the call. My mother was struggling to get words out. Papa was unable to talk at all. I said that I have been selected for Mumbai Indians. I too had no idea what to say! Then I said that I am disconnecting the phone. It was the most emotional moment of my life.”
- In an interview, Varma expressed his desire to buy a house for his parents. He said,
Growing up, we’ve had a lot of financial difficulties. My father with his meagre salary had to look after my cricket expenses as well as my elder brother’s studies. In the last few years, with some sponsorship and match fees, I could just about take care of my cricketing expenses. We don’t own a house as yet. So with whatever I have earned in this IPL, my only aim is to get a house for my parents. This IPL money gives me the luxury to play freely for the rest of my career.”
- During an interview, Tilak’s father talked about the difficult times that Tilak and his family had to face during his training period. He said,
There were difficult times, but a lot of people helped us, like his coach Salam Bayash sir. When he was an U-14 player, he used to practise and play matches at Uppal [Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium]. We needed to wake up at 4 am to reach the ground, which is 30km away from our home. I had to drop him and attend to my work and used to pick him up in the evenings. Those five years were hard, but the efforts have paid off.”