Mohammed Siraj, a pacer for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), shared a moving story when Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) purchased his services in the 2017 IPL auction for a staggering INR 2.60 crore.
Siraj, who came from a modest economic background, expressed disbelief when he was hired for an enormous fee at the auction. However, the pacer recalled that he was unable to contain his enthusiasm when RCB first offered to purchase him, as no other franchise was initially willing to do so.
“My name was called at the auction. After ten seconds of no one raising their paddle, I thought to myself, ‘It’s over, forget it.’ Siraj stated in an interview on ‘Breakfast with Champions’ that RCB suddenly raised the paddle and he immediately departed his home with the joy of having been chosen for the IPL.
“Thereafter, when the media asked me, ‘You got selected for INR 2.6 crore, how happy are you?’, I glanced around and then asked, ‘Really? I received a price of INR 2,600,000,000?! “All I wanted was to be selected, regardless of which team, and I am grateful that I was,” he said.
Enjoy your first encounter: Yuvraj Singh to Siraj on IPL debut
On April 19, 2017, the pacer made his debut in the premier league against Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals). Despite claiming the prized scalps of Sanju Samson and Sam Billings, Siraj remarked that he was overwhelmed by the atmosphere at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
In four overs, Siraj achieved bowling figures of 2/39 at an economy rate of 9.75. The pacer went on to say that his former teammate Yuvraj Singh calmed him down and encouraged him to appreciate his debut match.
“I defeated Sanju (Samson) and Sam Billings in my first match. However, I did run roughly forty times. Even now, I cannot forget the first time I played in front of a crowded stadium. I experienced the often-mentioned anxiety and pressure on that day, he said.
“Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) pa was present at point, and he repeatedly reassured me, ‘Don’t worry, it’s alright if they hit a four. It’s your first encounter, so have fun,” Siraj advised.