The Border-Gavaskar trophy 2020-21 in Australia was one of the most closely contested, toughest Test series anybody had witnessed in years. With a raging pandemic and players getting injured with every game, life could not have been more difficult for the men touring Australia.
But for a certain Mohammad Siraj, things were only about to get worse before they got better.
Siraj would go Down Under as a reserve bowler, with no idea if he would even be donning the whites with the India badge on it. It was unlikely that he would, given India’s fast bowling line-up was amongst the best in the world at that point.
But as fate would have it, the medium-pacer would find his way into the team courtesy of injuries sustained by the team’s premium fast bowlers. And within the span of a game after his debut, he would lead the pace battery as they barged into the impregnable Gabba and winning a Test series that everyone thought was lost after the very first game.
Siraj would take 5 wickets in the 2nd innings at Brisbane to end his series on a fitting note.
But if you ask the man if it was as easy as it sounds, the answer would be a deafening NO. See, Siraj’s father passed away in November after the team landed in Australia.
Mohammed Ghaus had not been keeping well but it was his dream to see his son play for India. So Siraj had not been made aware of how serious his father’s health scare was. Speaking at Voot Select’s Bandon Mein Tha Dum‘s trailer launch, the pacer shed some light on how the whole situation unfolded for him.
My father had not been doing well, even during the IPL but I was not made aware of it. If I had known I would have gone home. I only found out when we landed in Australia, by which time, we had to follow COVID protocols and I couldn’t travel home. I learnt about his death, during practice.
Siraj also emphasised about the role his mother played in making sure he had the strength to continue.
My mother was a pillar of strength during that time. I was speaking to her and despite the situation at home and how affected she was by it, she ensured that I was strong enough to continue doing my job. That’s when I realised how powerful women are! She told me that this was my father’s dream, for me to represent the country and win laurels for the flag.
One can only imagine suffering through a tragedy of such proportions and still having the strength to keep going, keep playing professional cricket at the highest stage of them all, against the toughest competitors in their own backyard, and taking the team to the promised land!
You can watch the trailer for Bandon Mein Tha Dum here:
The mini docuseries will be streaming on Voot Select from the 16th of June, 2022.