Mohammad Siraj has been making waves in the domestic cricket scene for quite some time now. The young lad is a right-arm speedster and has earned calls from the India A and Rest of India sides with his excellent run of form.
The 22-year-old belongs to a very humble background, with his father being an autorickshaw driver, and saw his life change in the latest IPL auctions when he was poached by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping ₹ 2.6 crore, against his base price of only ₹ 20 lakh.
He has carved a name for himself in just three years and called the auction amount an unexpected one.
“It’s a dream come true for me. I am thrilled about it as I hadn’t expected to be picked up for such a high price. I was hoping to play for some team this year as I have performed quite well but this price tag is beyond my expectation,” Siraj told TOI on Monday.
“Mere walid saab ne bohot mehnat ki hain (My father has struggled a lot). He drove auto all these years but never let financial pressure of the family affect me or my elder brother. Bowling spikes cost a lot and he would just get the best for me. I want to buy a house for them now in a good locality,” an emotional Siraj said.
Talking of his journey, Siraj said, “Today, I remember my first income playing cricket. It was a club match and my maternal uncle was the captain of the team. I got 9 wickets for 20 odd runs in that 25 over game. My uncle was so happy he gave me Rs 500 as a prize. It was a great feeling. But today when the bid was raised to Rs 2.6 crore, I just went numb.”
A part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad now, Siraj will be mentored by VVS Laxman and captained by David Warner. Sharing the excitement, he said, “As a youngster, I would like to learn everything I can. Laxman sir is there and I would get a chance to interact with a player of David Warner’s stature.”
Way to go, Siraj! We hope to see you in the national team soon!
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