Cricketing Fairytale: Journey Of Auto Driver’s Son To World No. 1 Bowler

Hyderabad: Mohammed Siraj added one more glorious chapter in his fairytale run as an international cricketer on Wednesday. The 28-year-old pacer from a humble family background in Hyderabad became only the sixth Indian bowler to be ranked No. 1 in ICC’s ODI rankings.

The 28-year-old Siraj displaced Australian swing bowler Josh Hazlewood from the top spot in the latest ICC rankings.

Siraj thus joined an elite league of five Indian greats who had previously been ranked No. 1 among bowlers — Kapil Dev, Maninder Singh, Anil Kumble, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah.

Siraj, who has been in red-hot form in ODI cricket, has bagged 38 wickets in 20 matches since February 2022, including 14 in 5 games this year.

The son of autorickshaw driver Mohammed Ghouse, Siraj is a self-made player as his family didn’t have the means to send him to a cricket academy for any formal training.

The determination to become a good cricketer and hard work helped him force his way into the Ranji Trophy team in 2015. There was no looking back.

His big breakthrough came during the 2017 IPL player auction, when he bagged a Rs 2.6-crore deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad. One of his first aim on getting rich was to persuade his father to stop driving an auto after toiling and making sacrifices for 30 years.

At a time when several fast bowlers are jostling for Team India spots, Siraj is close to cementing a regular berth after excelling consistently in injured Jasprit Bumrah’s absence.

He seems to have come of age, and should be an asset for Team India in the next 5 years if he remains injury free.

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