How former UP captain Ranji changed his profession to become a lawyer

What do cricketers often choose after drawing the curtains on their careers? Since the game stays deep in their hearts, they want to stay closer to it in every way. Either they accept the coaching position, or they find themselves with a microphone in their hands; be a commentator. Additionally, some players, like India’s S Venkataraghavan and Sri Lanka’s Kumara Dharmasena, chose not to leave the pitch after retirement and thus became match officials.

And when we talk about Indian cricketers, they still have a few career options to navigate; like acting in movies, politics, etc. Coming out of this league, there is a man who paved the way for a different genre. He is former cricketer Eklavya Dwivedi.

Born in Allahabad (now Prayagraj), Eklavya made his national debut against Rajasthan in the 2008 Vijay Hazare Trophy. A few years later he joined Uttar Pradesh team Ranji, playing his first game against Odisha in November 2010 .

In 2016, the former batsman and wicketkeeper enjoyed a meteoric rise in his career following his exploits in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He scored 258 points in 9 games, finishing as the top run-getter for UP. After a terrific season, he landed an IPL contract worth Rs 1 crore from Gujarat Lions and went on to play 4 games in the debut season of the franchise.

Before concentrating on full-time legal work, he had played 43 Premier League games, 36 List A games and 47 T20 games. He scored more than 3000 races including 3 centuries in the longest format. He also holds the fastest premier class century record for Uttar Pradesh, with just 70 balls, and also the fastest in the A list fifty in 21 balls; both against the railroads.

Apart from Gujarat Lions, he had been part of Chennai Super Kings, Pune Warriors India and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Why did Eklavya switch from cricket to lawyer?

In an exclusive chat with News18 Cricketnext, the former Uttar Pradesh captain went into detail about why he changed his stance.

“It’s a story in itself. I played cricket for a while, as you would have known. Basically, I have a family background in law. I had a foundation to work with; to start and move from cricket to law,” Eklavya said.

He started his journey with the aim of playing for the country. But, at 30, when he saw the opportunity slipping away, he decided to try what his family was already involved in.

“You see, the idea behind cricket was that I would end up playing for the country. And when I saw that disappear when I was already thirty at that time and MS (Dhoni) was still playing, then Rishabh (Pant) came into the picture,” Eklavya said.

“So I had to make a calculated move on what should be the next step in my career. I could have played another 4-5 years of domestic cricket and the IPL, but it would have been very difficult for me to switch from cricket to law.While there was still time, I chose to change my profession.

“And see, I probably landed in the right place (he laughs).”

Leaving aside the cricket kit and picking up law books and journals to become a lawyer takes some courage, especially when you’re 30. But Eklavya found it interesting and made it possible.

“After cricket, I did (sued law). I completed my LLB circa 2018 in India. And I am currently working freelance, and also doing my masters in international commercial law and company law in England, simultaneously,” he said.

Eklavya is currently handling the case of Rishabh Pant

Eklavya is currently handling the case of Rishabh Pant where the Indian wicketkeeper was defrauded by former Haryana cricketer Mrinank Singh. The defendant had offered Pant to buy him expensive watches and cell phones at a cheaper rate. However, the cricketer was duped for Rs 1.63 crore through an NSF cheque.

READ ALSO – ‘Rishabh Pant Trusted Mrinank Singh’ – Lawyer Eklavya Dwivedi on what led to Rs. 1.63 Cr duplication case

“Rishabh placed this order and disbursed funds from his bank account. He also gave Mrinank some expensive jewelry to sell. After which the defendant was unable to deliver any of these goods to my client.

“After that, Rishabh and his manager persisted. Thereafter, there was a mutual oral settlement which they reached. On this oral settlement, Mr Mrinank Singh issued a check in favor of Rishabh for Rs 1.63 cr, which eventually rebounded,” Eklavya explained.

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