Mohammed Siraj after 63-day long and agonizing wait finally got a chance to bid his father a final goodbye. The speedster landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad today (Thursday) and took drove straight to his father Mohammed Ghouse’s grave in Kharitabad to bring closure to his grief.
Siraj’s 53-year-old father, who was an auto-driver, had passed away on November 20 due to a lung ailment — just a week after the Indian Test series star had landed in Australia. The pacer was at a practice session at Sydney’s Blacktown Oval when his father passed away. He received the news from coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli only after the training session. The 26-year-old, however, chose to stay back in Australia due to strict COVID-19 protocols. “I lost the biggest supporter of my life. He was the person who supported me the most in my pursuit of a cricket career. It’s a great loss for me,” Siraj had said.”Even though he is not in the world, he’ll always be with me,” he added.
“Even though my mother and I would quite often scold Siraj for neglecting his studies and wasting his time playing cricket, my father never said a word to him. In fact, he encouraged him to go and play. He used to tell Siraj not to worry and that he will do whatever possible to help him play the game. Today, my father was proved right,” Siraj’s brother Mohammed Ismail had remarked sheepishly a day ago.
But, he was finally able to bring some closure to the pain and loss by laying flowers on his father’s grave and offering prayers. He spent some time at the grave before going to his home in Al-Hasnath Colony, Toli Chowki.
“Siraj arrived around 9 in the morning and from there he went straight to the graveyard. His father would have been very proud to see Siraj do so exceedingly well in Test cricket, especially against the Australians on their home ground. Siraj would have been happier if he had been able to hug his father on his return and share his success stories but destiny seems to have other plans,” said Siraj’s closest friend Mohammed Shafi, who had accompanied him to the graveyard.
Interestingly, even though his father was no more there with him physically, he still acted as pillar of strength for the Indian bowler. Siraj used all the pain and frustration and channelled it to win the historic test at Gabba. He scalped 13-wickets in the series, a fitting tribute to his late father.