Hyderabad’s auto driver’s son, Mohammed Siraj, bags Rs 2.6 crore contract in 2017 IPL auction

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New Delhi: The IPL auction 2017 threw some big surprises with Indian pacer Ishant Sharma going unsold. The biggest catch for the day at the 10th IPL players’ auction in Bangalore on Monday was Mohammed Siraj, a 22-year-old medium pacer who also can bat well, being bought for Rs 2.8 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Mohammed Siraj
Photo: PTI

He has emerged as one of the most exciting players in the Indian domestic cricket circuit, having recently made his mark with a brilliant first class season. His excellent run of form saw him earn call-ups to the India A and Rest of India sides.

Born on March 13, 1994, in Hyderabad, Siraj comes from a humble economic background with his father driving auto for the last 30 years. The right-arm speedster aims to buy a house in a good Hyderabad locality for his parents Mohammed Ghaus and Shabana Begum.

“I would buy a house with the money in a good locality in Hyderabad for my parents,” he told Times Now in an interview.

The family is from Hyderabad and stays at a rented house near Banjara Hills area in Hyderabad.

He also wants to see his father stop driving auto. And it appears that after scooping this contract with the IPL, his dream would come true.

“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 am confident of convincing him now. He needs a good rest,” Siraj had told Mid-Day earlier.

Siraj whose base price was Rs 20 lakh was sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 2.6 crore.

“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,” Siraj told PTI during an interaction from Hyderabad.

“My parents have seen hard days. Today my elder brother is a software engineer in a reputed IT firm. I didn’t have interest in studies and my mother would bash me up giving my elder brother’s example. But today she’s on top of the world,” said Siraj.

For him, the progress was a gradual one.

“Since I started from tennis ball cricket, I am self taught. I had pace but tennis ball cricket teaches you to bowl in block holes. Then, I played Hyderabad U22, Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare and then Ranji Trophy followed by India A. I have taken one step at a time. Next is IPL followed by senior national team,” said Siraj.

Sharing the dressing room with VVS Laxman as mentor and captained by David Warner is a big plus.

“As a youngster, I would like to learn everything I can. Laxman sir is there and I would get a chance to interact with a player of David Warner’s stature,” concluded Siraj excusing himself to speak to media who had made a beeline for his interview.

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