Mohammed Siraj Recalls The Criticism He Faced Post IPL 2019
By CricShots - Feb 8, 2022 7:43 pm
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The fiery Indian fast bowler, Mohammed Siraj opened up about the criticism he had witnessed after having a forgettable outing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. He even thought of quitting the game but MS Dhoni’s advice helped him revive. Siraj revealed that he was asked to ‘quit cricket and drive auto’ with his father after the 2019 IPL season, where he managed to take only seven wickets in nine matches with an economy rate of nearly 1.

Mohammed Siraj in IPL 2019

During a recent RCB podcast, Mohammed Siraj recalled, “When I bowled those two beamers against KKR, people said ‘quit cricket and go back and drive autos with your father. But I remember when I first got selected how Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) told me to not listen to everything the people have to say about me. You do well today and they’ll praise you and when you don’t the same people will abuse you. So don’t ever take it seriously. So, I know. I don’t want anybody’s opinion.”

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The 27-year-old has since come a long way and is one of the three players retained by the RB that is still eying its first-ever title in the lucrative league. After the impressive showing in the 2020IPL season, Siraj made his India debut during the team’s tour of Australia, but he had faced a personal tragedy during the same tour when Siraj lost his father. He couldn’t see his father before taking off for the tour of Down Under as he flew with the team directly to Australia after the conclusion of the IPL in the UAE.

Recalling the scenarios, Mohammed Siraj said, “Dad wasn’t keeping well in 2020. When the IPL got over, nobody told me dad was so seriously ill. Whenever I called or asked, they’d say he’s sleeping or he’s resting, so I’d tell them okay don’t disturb him. It was only when I reached Australia that I got to know that dad was in such a critical condition. I fought with my entire family … ‘why didn’t you tell me sooner. “

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Mohammed Siraj bowled a brilliant spell

He further recalled, “I told them if they would’ve told me earlier, I would have at least met him before leaving for Australia. When he finally spoke to me, all he asked of me was to focus on playing for the country, fulfilling my dream, and making the country proud. I thought of leaving the day he passed, but his words were the only thing that kept me back in Australia.”

His father struggled a lot to make sure the pacer gets to play cricket and pursue his dream of playing for India.

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Elaborating on the struggles, Mohammed Siraj said, “My dad used to save the cut-outs from newspapers if my photo got published after a good performance and standing there (on Test debut) singing the national anthem I couldn’t stop thinking how proud he would have been and how proud he would have been of me seeing him in an India jersey, playing for the country. His words kept ringing in my ears even as I sang the national anthem.”