The sensational Indian Premier League (IPL) has always garnered plenty of national attention and has been in the news for various reasons. As the new season of this cricket league is fast approaching, the player auction was conducted recently. Irrespective of all the controversies surrounding this mega tournament, it is undeniable that the IPL has brought fame and fortune to a lot of underdog players. A new addition to this category is Mohammed Siraj, a cricketer from Hyderabad, who was purchased by the Sunrisers Hyderabad team for Rs. 2.6 crore. Interestingly, his base price was just Rs 20 lakh.
Siraj comes from a poor and humble background. His family lives in a small rented flat in Banjara Hills. Siraj's father, Ghouse Mohammad, is an auto driver by profession and the family has been relying on him for the past 30 years. The cricketer, however, said that his father doesn't have to drive an auto anymore for a living.
Born in 1994 in Hyderabad, Siraj never went to a coaching academy. 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.
In an interview with the Times Of India after the bidding, Siraj said, "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."
Speaking with Mid-Day recently, Siraj said that he was looking forward to seeing his father quit driving an auto and rest, for all the hard work he had done for the family over the years. "My father has been driving his auto rickshaw for the last 30 years. I urged him to stop, but he did not pay heed to my request. I'm confident of convincing him now. He needs a good rest," he said. This budding cricketer says he is waiting for his salary of around Rs 10 lakh for his tenure with the Hyderabad team over two seasons of Ranji cricket. He wants to buy a small house for his family for all the financial struggles they have endured. He told Mid-Day, "I may purchase a small house. I have seen my parents struggle with financial problems for so many years. Now, I want them to enjoy a good life."
Siraj was a part of the squad when the India A team played against Australia in the recent warm-up match.