Off The Field

Mohammed Siraj reveals he contemplated quitting cricket in 2019

Written by Rohit Pawar

India pacer Mohammed Siraj turned 30 on Wednesday (March 13). On his special day, Siraj revealed that he was contemplating international retirement in 2019 before becoming one of India’s most potent bowlers. Siraj revealed that in 2019 he was mulling retirement from the sport and had given himself a year to become successful, else he was happy to walk away from the game.¬†

“In 2020…19 I had thought I am giving myself this last year and after that I will leave the game for good,” said Siraj in a video released by BCCI on his birthday. The wily speedster’s turning point came during India’s tour of Australia. In the four Tests, the pacer made his debut during the second Test at the MCG, Melbourne and ended as India’s highest wicket-taker (13 scalps). Since then, there has been no looking back for the pacer who has improved as a bowler across formats. In 2023, his 6 for 21¬†wreaked havoc as India bundled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 50 to win the Asia Cup final. He ended the year 2023 with 60 wickets overall, fifth-most. In ODIs, he returned with 44 scalps (second-most).

In the same video, depicting Siraj’s hometown Hyderabad, the pacer took his fans for a tour around his hometown and showed the ground where everything kicked off for him. Siraj revealed that the ground Eidgah was where he finds peace despite travelling all around the globe. “As soon as I land in Hyderabad, my first thought is that I will go home. After home I will go to Eidgah. Wherever in the world I go. I don’t get so much peace anywhere, to be honest. Whenever I go there, I get so much peace,” said Siraj.

He further stated, “I used to go to do a catering job. My family members used to say that son, please study. I liked playing cricket very much because we used to live on rent also. My dad was the only earning member in the house. If I got a hundred or two hundred rupees, I was happy with it. I used to give 100 or 150 rupees at home and keep 50 for myself. My hands would burn as I had to flip roomali roti. But that’s ok. I have reached here after having my fair share of struggle.”

Siraj concluded by saying, “Whenever you work hard, your hard work will not go to waste. You will get it in the end, if not today or tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow or in a year or in two years or in three years, you will get the result.”

About the author

Rohit Pawar

An Independent I.T. Security Expert, Geek, Blogger & Passionate Programmer.