Pacer Mohammed Siraj reveals he didn’t go to his house directly after landing in India from the victorious campaign in Australia. Siraj drove straight from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad, Hyderabad to the graveyard in Khairtabad where his father was buried.
Siraj went to the graveyard in order to pay his final respects to his departed father, Mohammed Ghaus. On November 20, only a week after Siraj had landed in Australia for a 2-month tour, his 53-year-old father, who was an auto-driver, sadly passed away owing to a lung ailment.
“I didn’t go home, directly. I went to the graveyard straight from the airport, I went there to sit with my dad for some time. I couldn’t speak to him but offered flowers to his grave,” Mohammed Siraj told Sports Today.
The speedster was at a practice session at Sydney’s Blacktown Oval when his father died. It was the head coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli who broke the unfortunate news to the 26-year-old after the practice session.
My mother was counting down how many days were left for me to return: Mohammed Siraj
After hearing the news of his father’s demise, Siraj decided to stay back in Australia with the team to fulfil his father’s dream – he was given his debut cap in the second Test of the series after Mohammed Shami got injured.
By the time the fourth Test commenced, he was the senior-most Test pacer in the team. The 26-year-old ended the tour as the leading wicket-taker for India picking 13 wickets, including his maiden five-wicket haul, in the 3 matches he played.
After returning he said that his mother started to cry. She counted every day as to when his son would return. Siraj says his family missed him in their difficult time and he tried to console his mother.
“And then I came home. When I met my mom, she started crying. Then I tried to console her, telling her not to cry. It was a different feeling. After 6-7 months, her son had come home. Mom was always waiting for me to return. She was counting down how many days were left for me to return,” he added.