An year back, he was purchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a stunning amount of Rs 2.6 crore. He proved he was worth it. A year later, he is now selected for Team India. Meet Mohammed Siraj, another jewel from Hyderabad, who got selected into national T20 squad to play against New Zealand. Born to an auto driver, Siraj developed love towards cricket and worked hard to reach heights today. Unknown to many, Siraj began his career as a batsman. He then developed his skills as a bowler and took up bowling seriously. He made his Ranji Trophy debut for Hyderabad in 2015-16. Siraj bagged 41 wickets to become the highest-wicket taker for Hyderabad in 2016-17.
Interestingly, Siraj never went to a coaching academy. Siraj, during his early days in cricket, played with tennis ball, but then went on to take part in a lot of cricket tournaments, representing the Hyderabad U-22 team, and later on playing the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, Vijay Hazare trophy and the Ranji Trophy. He played his first club match for a team where his maternal uncle was the captain. He took 9 wickets conceding 20 odd runs in that 25 over game. His uncle was so happy and gave Rs.500 as a prize. That was his first income through the game of cricket.
The First Class Cricket
Siraj has had a successful first-class career, picking up 53 wickets from just 14 matches, including a best of 5-52 in an innings and a best of 9-116 in an entire match. Siraj was earlier roped in by Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs. 2.6 crore ahead of the tenth edition, following a brilliant display during the first-class season. His father Mohammed Ghaus is an auto driver, whereas his brother is a software engineer working in an IT firm. After a successful Ranji Trophy career, this youngster made it to India A’s squad for the Tri-series in South Africa, that also had Afghanistan A. He had a memorable tournament as he picked up five wickets from three matches, India A won the tournament, defeating South Africa A by seven wickets in the final. Coached by former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, Siraj was advised not to change anything in his bowling and stick to his natural game, which is what made him a star he is today.
There were no over-the-top-celebrations because the 23-year-old was ‘expecting’ a berth in the team. With successful IPL and Ranji career, this Hyderabad youngster is all set to kickstart his international career when Virat Kohli’s Team India face off Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in the first of the three T20s on November one at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, which is also pacer Ashish Nehra’s farewell match. Focussing on his T20 debut, Siraj is also hoping to represent the country in all three formats. Siraj’s rags-to-riches story is an inspiration for all struggling cricketers.
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