‘Was asked to quit cricket and drive auto:’ Mohammed Siraj recalls criticism after poor show in IPL 2019
Indian pace sensation Mohammed Siraj has recalled the time when he was criticised heavily and thought his career was over. Siraj spoke about the poor season he had with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL). The pacer said he received severe criticism and was asked to ‘quit cricket and drive auto’.
Notably, Siraj’s poor outing made a straight impact on his franchise as RCB lost six games on the trot and finished at the bottom. His worst performance came against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when he was hit for five sixes and 36 runs in 2.2 overs. He bowled two beamers as well, which forced captain Virat Kohli to take him off bowling.
“When I bowled those two beamers against KKR, people said, ‘quit cricket and go back and drive autos with your father,” Siraj told The RCB Podcast.
After such huge disapproval from fans, Siraj thought his career was over before Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni came for his rescue. Siraj revealed that Dhoni’s advice of not paying attention to outer noises helped the fast bowler get back on his feet.
“There were so many such comments. And people don’t see the struggle behind all this. But I remember when I first got selected how Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) told me to not listen to everything the people have to say about me. You do well today, and they’ll praise you, and when you don’t, the same people will abuse you. So don’t ever take it seriously,” added Siraj.
Siraj then improved his bowling in the 2020 season of the cash-rich league and soon made his India debut during the team’s tour of Australia, where he impressed one and all with brilliant performances. The 27-year-old said the people who used to troll him earlier now compliment him.
“And yes, the same people who trolled me incessantly back then say ‘you’re the best bowler bhai’. So, I know. I don’t want anybody’s opinion. I’m the same Siraj I was back then,” Siraj added further.
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