Hyderabad: Celebrations were subdued at the residence of Mohammed Siraj, the new cricketing hero, after India scripted a historic victory over Australia.
Siraj started playing cricket at the age of seven. “We played together and he had extraordinary passion for the game,” said Khan, now a businessman.
Siraj, who never went to a coaching academy, made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2015-16 and ended the season with 41 wickets from nine matches. Impressed with his performance, the selectors picked him for the Rest of India team for the Irani Cup. This also catapulted him to the IPL auctions.
After the IPL contract in 2017, Siraj requested his father to stop driving auto rickshaw and take rest. “He struggled for us for more than 30 years. Now, he should take rest,” he had said after the big break.
In 2017-18, Siraj topped the bowling charts with 23 wickets from seven games in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He was subsequently purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Silencing his critics, Siraj bowled a dream spell in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders in the last IPL on October 21. He became the first bowler in IPL history to bowl two maiden overs and ended with figures of 4-2-8-3.