When everyone was thinking that Rising Pune Supergiants getting Ben Stokes was the best moment in the IPL Auction 2017, there was one equally important win for Sunrisers Hyderabad as well. Yes! It was when SRH won the 22-year old domestic Hyderabadi pacer – Mohammad Siraj.
Born to a lower-middle-class family, Mohammad Siraj started his initial cricketing career as a batsman who can bowl a bit as well. Having no big interest in studies, Siraj spent his time in tennis ball cricket during his developmental years.
Siraj’s parents are divine by themselves. Mother, Shabana Begum, like all mothers wants his son to be the best in studies. However, there was something more that just studies waiting for Siraj. Diligent father, Mohammed Ghaus who is an auto driver, made sure that financial pressure of the family does not overshadow either Siraj’s or his elder brother’s dreams.
Siraj started his course in cricket with Charminar Cricket Club where he utilised his tennis ball cricket experience in the best way. With his self-efforts, he slowly emerged not as a batsman but as a daring fast bowler with deadly bouncers. Slowly, he caught the selectors eyes and found himself in the squad list of Hyderabad for Indian domestic tournaments. Siraj’s current fertile-form was also rightly justified after his selection for the Rest of India squad for the Irani cup.
About his gradual step by step progress, Mohammad Siraj said:
Since I started from tennis ball cricket, I am self-taught. I had pace but tennis ball cricket teaches you to bowl in block-holes. Then I played Hyderabad U22, Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare and then Ranji Trophy followed by India A. I have taken one step at a time. Next is IPL followed by senior national team
IPL AUCTION 2017
In fact, all eyes were on the colossal all-rounder Ben Stokes in the IPL Auction 2017. However, some unexpected picks happened apart from these big buys as well. One amongst them was Mohammad Siraj.
Though Mohammad Siraj got all the ammunition in his arsenal, he would not have expected that the franchises would have believed in his abilities that much. Yes, Siraj was sold for his home franchise – Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping ₹2.6 Crores after an initial challenge from Royal Challengers Bangalore. This price tag is, indeed, 13 times more than his base price (₹20 Lakhs).
This is all the result of his first class brilliance. Ecstatic Siraj said on his price value:
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.
‘I WANT TO BUY A HOUSE FOR THEM NOW’
In the likes of all sons and daughters, even Siraj likes to see his parents as happy as he can in their second childhood days.
Mere walid saab ne bahot mehnat ki hain (Translated as ‘My Father has put in a lot of hard work’). He drove auto all these years but never let the 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.
My parents have seen hard days. Today my elder brother is a software engineer in a reputed IT firm. I didn’t have an interest in studies and my mother would bash me up giving my elder brother’s example. But today she’s on top of the world.
This success in the IPL auction means that Siraj will get the opportunity to walk shoulder to shoulder with renowned Indian and International cricketers. As a matter of fact, he can sculpt his talents further.
With ever-young Ashish Nehra, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Bangladeshi Mustafizur Rahman and now with hungry-for-wickets Mohammad Siraj, SRH’s bowling line-up is one that other teams will surely be afraid of.