Mohammed Siraj's mom made a wrong decision for the pacer

Updated: Oct 13, 2018, 09:23 IST | Harit N Joshi

Indian cricketer Mohammed Siraj's mom Shabana regrets discouraging the fast bowler from putting cricket before academics

Mohammed Siraj's mom made a wrong decision for the pacer
India 'A' pacer Mohammed Siraj on Day Three of the tour match against England Lions at Worcester in July. Pic/Getty Images

Imagine the scenario: Father is an auto rickshaw driver, mother is a domestic helper, elder brother is a bright student, pursuing his engineering and younger brother is crazy over playing cricket.

In such a situation, where the family is living a hand-to-mouth existence, passion for sports would naturally take a backseat. But India pacer Mohammed Siraj continued living his dream of being an India pace bowler.

Two years after bowling his first formal delivery in 2015, the right-arm fast bowler bagged an T20 contract worth Rs 2.6 crore. He also made his India T20 debut against New Zealand in Rajkot the same year. Since then, he has been on the fringes of breaking into the India ODI and Test team.


Family left surprised
Siraj's stupendous rise has taken his family, especially his mother Shabana, 44, by surprise. "I would scold him and instill fear in him — all to give up cricket. I wanted him to concentrate on academics. Padega toh kuch paise bhi kama lega [If he studies, he can earn some money as well]. There was always a financial crisis at home and I didn't want Siraj to waste his time in cricket. We didn't have anyone who played the game in our family," she recalled. Shabana is obviously delighted with the way things have panned out. "We were concerned about his future, but I can't believe how well he has come up in his game," she said.

Siraj's family members have not come to watch the ongoing second Test against the West Indies here as their elder son Ismail had to undergo a surgery on his hand.

Love for the game
Only Siraj's brother knew where he played cricket. "We would wake up in the morning and discover Siraj is missing at home. Irrespective of whether it was raining or the weather was oppressive, he would be playing cricket. Ek junoon hai [cricket is an obsession for him]," said Shabana.

Following her son's elevation to international cricket, Siraj's mother regrets scolding him for choosing to play cricket. "I feel bad. I have apologised to him as well. I did not realise that you can live a successful life through cricket too. For us, it was just a game, not a means of life. But I am glad my son has made a career in sports. We cannot thank Allah enough for blessing my son with so much talent and skills. I am a fan of only one cricketer and that's my son," Shabana said.

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