If you mix hardwork with the right amount of madness then creating a new shimmering reality is not impossible. Something similar happened at the recently-held IPL auction which has brought an ocean of happiness for Hyderabad’s fast bowler Mohammed Siraj. The journey of this boy from a lower-middle class background to sealing a Rs 2.6 crore deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad is absolutely thrilling.
Siraj grew up playing with tennis ball as it was the only thing he could afford in the beginning. Son of an auto driver and a domestic help, he has seen his share of misfortunes. Despite limited budget his father made sure his son practices with only the best bowling spikes. Less than three years ago, the right-arm pacer was yet to play with a proper cricket ball and was still stuck in tennis-ball games.
“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.”
The first thing on Siraj’s mind is to take his parents out of those dingy lanes and buy a new house for them in a respectable Hyderabad locality. “Mere walid saab ne bahut mehnat ki hai (My father has slogged). He drove auto all these years but never let financial pressure of the family affect me or my elder brother,” an emotional Siraj said.
When Siraj got a chance to play for Charminar Cricket Club he was so unprepared that he did not even have proper set of shoes for the match. But he delivered his best and made it to the Ranji Trophy. He put his best foot forward and surprised everyone with his crisp pace and bounce. After being joint-third on the leading wicket-takers’ list with 41 kills, he was selected in the Irani Trophy Rest of India squad, and then for India A.
He recollects that his mother used to scold him for not paying attention to studies and gave him the example of his elder brother. He beams with joy as he tells that his elder brother works as an IT engineer with a reputed software firm. Now his mother isn’t worried for Siraj’s future anymore and is on the top of the world.
The boy who grew up in dirty, crammed bylanes of Hyderabad is now the centre of attraction on an international level. With fans chanting his name and media queuing up for interviews, Siraj’s story underlines that the only privilege one truly has is of their hardwork and talent.
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