As India took on New Zealand in the second T20 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association in Rajkot on Sunday, the cameras panned out to an Indian cricketer failing to control his tears as the national anthem ceremony rolled on. The 23-year-old who donned his first national cap in this match after getting into the team as a direct replacement for Ashish Nehra failed to hold back his tears.
Coming from a poor and humble background, Mohammed Siraj’s story is yet another example of rag to riches tale. His family lived in a small rented flat in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Siraj’s father, Ghouse Mohammad, is an auto driver by profession and was the bread earner for the whole family. Born in 1994 in Hyderabad, Siraj never went to a coaching academy.
Initially beginning his career as a batsman who could bowl a bit, Siraj grew up playing tennis ball cricket and was primarily self-taught. His father put in a lot of hard work to sustain the expenses of his son and ensured he went on to play domestic cricket. He made his debut only in November 2015, during the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy. He ended the season with 41 wickets in nine matches. This led to the selectors picking him for the Rest of India team for the Irani Cup henceforth. From there on Siraj regularly played for the Hyderabad U22 side, Mushtaq Ali tournament and the Vijay Hazare Trophy. But what came as a change in fortune was the 2016/17 Ranji Trophy season where he ended up as the third-highest wicket-taker and was subsequently picked up by SRH in the IPL auctions of 2017 at a mind-boggling Rs 2.6 Crores.
In the IPL, Siraj played six matches and picked up ten wickets with best figures of 4/32, and a healthy average of 21.2. His performances drew praise from the likes of Laxman and Warner as he later went to have a fruitful stint with the India A team a spot in the India A side.
Siraj made his T20I debut for India against New Zealand on 4 November 2017, taking the wicket of Kane Williamson, finishing with figures of 1 wicket for 53 runs from four overs. With the ball, Siraj is well known for his crafty skills. A deceptive slower ball and a potent in swinger are his arsenal weapons.
Nowadays, When Nation is debating whether to stand for the national anthem or not, the tears in Mohammed Siraj's eyes shows how true patriotic feels. May the talented cricketer add even more feathers to his cap. Team Sports Social wishes the young cricketer luck for his future endeavors.