Hyderabad: For a couple of Hyderabadis, the IPL auction has been two good. Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj and opening batsman Tanmay Agarwal made it to the Sunrisers Hyderabad team, at contrasting prices though.
While Tanmay was picked at his base price of Rs 10 lakh.
The latest in this long list of players is Hyderabad’s Mohammed Siraj. The 22-year-old struck gold when he was pouched by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping Rs 2.6 crore – his base price was just Rs 20 lakh.
Siraj is staggered by the amount SRH shelled out to get him. “I knew I would be picked at the auction but to be bought at Rs 2.6 crore is a wild dream,” he told this newspaper. “I am very happy!”
The windfall is a boon for the son of an autorickshaw driver. “My father has worked hard for the family. Now, I will not allow him to drive the auto — he’s done that for 30 years,” he said.
Also, “buying a house” is on the top of Siraj’s mind. His family lives in a rented house. Siraj recalled being thrashed by his mother for neglecting academics in favour of games. “My parents have seen hard days. Today my elder brother is a software engineer. 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,” he said.
His Ranji Trophy debut for Hyderabad against Services in November 2015 didn’t go well as he bagged a solitary wicket but that didn’t stop the youngster. “It was not a good match but I went back to work on my basics,” he added.
Things, however, fell in place with the appointment of Bharat Arun as the coach of the Hyderabad team this season. Siraj was part of the troika of pacers who helped Hyderabad march into the quarters of the Ranji Trophy. He bagged 41 wickets this season.
Siraj, who was in the India A team which took on Australia in a tour game recently, is not disturbed that he didn’t get to play in that game. “It happens. I was a bit disappointed not to play but I knew that I will get my chance. It was a great thing to watch the Australian fast bowlers from such close quarters,” he said.
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