New Delhi: For Mohammed Siraj, the first thing on his mind is to buy a house for his father Mohammed
Ghaus and mother Shabana Begum in a good Hyderabad locality.
And why not? The speedster has landed a 26 million Indian rupees (Rs 2.6 crore) deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad, thanks to a brilliant first class season that saw him get India A and Rest of India call-ups.
"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 nine 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 INR 2.6 crore, I just went numb," Siraj said during an interaction from Hyderabad.
Coming from a lower middle class family, it is but obvious that he is indebted to his parents for their sacrifices in making him a professional cricketer.
"Mere walid saab (Father) ne bahot mehnat ki hain (My father has slogged). He drove auto all these years but never let financial pressure of the family affect me or my elder brother. A bowling spikes costs a lot and he would just get the best for me. I want to buy a house for them now in a good locality," an emotional Siraj said.
"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 blockholes. 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 interviews.