It couldn’t have been a more unreal three years for Hyderabad pacer Mohammad Siraj. From picking up 41 wickets in the previous season’s Ranji to being auctioned for 2.3 crores to the Hyderabad Sunrisers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. To add to his achievement, the 23-year-old right armer has now been selected in the T20 team to play in a series against New Zealand, which will be played between November 1-7.
But for Siraj, it was not all a bed of roses. He comes from the humble background; his father is an auto-rickshaw driver in Hyderabad, who brings home around Rs 10,000 every month. As every young Indian boy, Siraj used to play ‘gully cricket’ with his friends. His parents were concerned about the boy as he ignored his studies and only focused on cricket. His family lives in a tiny one bedroom apartment at Masab Tank in Hyderabad. When Siraj’s uncle encouraged him to play serious cricket, the pacer joined the Charminar Cricket Club in Hyderabad.“I made my debut in Ranji Trophy, but I couldn’t play well. One year passed and in between I played in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and stood in the top 10. I also got a chance to play in a three-day match where I gave a good performance. This season’s Ranji was much better, I took 41 wickets,” he told Scroll.
In February, during the IPL auctions, the Hyderabad Sunrisers bought Siraj for a whopping Rs 2.3 crores, almost 13 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh. As fate would have it, he is selected to play for the national team against New Zealand.