Father could only afford Rs 60 for me to train at Uppal Stadium: Siraj

Bengaluru: India pace bowler Mohammed Siraj has said that hardships were routine when he was in his formative years as a cricketer, adding that his father was an auto driver who could only afford to give him Rs 60 a day to go and train at the Uppal Stadium in Hyderabad.

Siraj, who was retained by Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore along with Australia’s Glenn Maxwell and former captain Virat Kohli ahead of the mega auction, said in an RCB podcast on Friday that the IPL had given him fame and taught him the “ways to be in social circles”.

“I only had struggles, my dad used to drive an auto; I only had a Platina (motorcycle). Dad used to give me 60 rupees for petrol. I would manage with that to reach Uppal Stadium, which was quite far from my house,” said Siraj.

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“When I was selected for the IPL, all those struggles came to an end. Dad stopped driving the auto, mom stopped doing household work, we stopped living in rented accommodation; we bought a new house. I didn’t need anything else in life. All I needed was my parents to be happy in a house we own. IPL gave me fame; it taught me the ways to be in social circles from meeting and talking to so many people. I learned so much. It’s all because of IPL,” added Siraj.

Sharing an anecdote, Siraj recollected an incident when then-RCB skipper Virat Kohli had said that he would be unable to attend a dinner party hosted by the bowler at his residence because of a stiff back.

But minutes later, Siraj saw Kohli get off his car and surprise him.

“I had invited everyone from RCB to my house for dinner. I went home straight from the hotel. When I called him (Virat) up, he said, ‘I have a stiff back miyan, I can’t come’. I told him to rest. What more could I say. But, when everyone came, I saw him get off the car. Everyone was there, PP (Parthiv Patel) Bhai, (Yuzvendra) Chahal Bhai. I just ran towards Bhaiya (Virat) and hugged him. It was the best surprise of my life. Because Bhaiya (Virat) had said he won’t come. It became news; Virat Kohli has come to Toli Chowki.”

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