Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Mohammed Siraj got his first national call-up for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. However, he suffered a personal loss before two days. There was some sad cricket news doing the rounds, as he lost his father due to illness.
He was admitted in the hospital many days earlier when Siraj was still playing in the UAE for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Though IPL 2020 was not the best for Virat Kohli’s side (though they did finish in the top four), it gave Mohammed Siraj a push into the national side.
Siraj decided to stay with the team even if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gave him the option of return back to India due to his personal tragedy.
His IPL captain and current India team skipper Virat Kohli lend his support to Siraj in these tough times. Siraj told the supportive words of Kohli, “Miyaan tension mat le ( do not be tense) and be strong. Your dad wanted you to play for India. So, do that and do not stress.”
As Siraj is selected for test series between India and Australia for the first time, he will be excited about his debut. After his personal loss, he will be more determined to play well for his national team. Father of Siraj droved an auto-rickshaw in the early years of Siraj’s career. So after a lot of hardships in his early days, Siraj reached success in his cricket career when Sunrisers Hyderabad signed him for 2017 Indian Premier League for 2.6 crores.
Siraj said, “It is a huge loss for me as he was the biggest support system of my life. He wanted me to shine for my country and my mindset now is to fulfil his dreams. I am indebted to my teammates as they stood by me in these tough times and everything was well taken care of.”
He also talked about support form his mother, “Mom said that ‘everyone has to go one day. Today, it is your dad, tomorrow it will be me. Just do that your dad wished for you. Play well for India’.”
What Siraj went on to add and what next for Team India?
“Maybe he is not physically present but I can feel that he is always there with me.”
This was a really positive statement from the player. Though he may not make a major impact in the tournament (as he may not play a lot), he could surely prove his worth. His strong mentality is already being appreciated and the fans and selectors will see this as well. It will be tough on him yet these are the things that really differenciate winners from the rest!!
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India team will play four tests in upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Limted overs leg of this tour will start from 27 November. There will be three ODIs and three T20Is in this series. In the absence of regular opener Rohit Sharma in white-ball formats, other experienced members of the team will have more responsibility.
The IPL 2021 announcements that were recently made, will Siraj be retained by RCB?
It was recently confirmed that there would be a mega-auction in January, 2021 for the upcoming edition of the IPL. The tournament could include ten teams in total, with each team having a tally of five foreign players in their starting 11. Also, each franchise would be allowed to retain just three players from their current squads.
With that being said, things could get interesting for Mohammed Siraj, who could be joining a new franchise. He may be let go by RCB if they are unable to retain his services.
There is no doubt that Virat Kohli likes him and thinks he is good enough. However, cricket is a funny game and things can really change quickly. A player who was once your favourite may become an arch rival. The IPL 2020 has shown us that already and things could be similar in the upcoming edition.
Meanwhile the squad is in Australia trying to put in their best performances and win more games. Whether they are able to recover from their loss in the first ODI remains to be seen. Only time will tell!!