Mohammed Ghaus, father of India pacer Mohammed Siraj, passed away in Hyderabad on Friday. He was 53 and was suffering from a lung ailment.
Siraj, who is now in Australia with the Indian team, lost his elder brother when he was just seven and now has only his mother, Shabana, as next of kin.
With quarantine rules in place, Siraj will not be able to attend the funeral.
Siraj, who was training with the team in Sydney, was given the sad news on return from practice.
“My dad always used to say ‘mere beta, desh ka naam roshan karna’ (my son, make the country proud). And, I will, for sure!” said an emotional Siraj.
“The last time I spoke to him was before I left for Australia,” he said.
“I am aware of the hardships my dad faced, driving an autorickshaw so that I could pursue my passion,” said the lad who rose from the by-lanes of Toli Chowki to don the National colours.
“I have lost the biggest support of my life. It was his dream to see me play for the country and I am glad I could realise that and bring him joy,” a distraught Siraj said.
“Coach (Ravi) Shastri Sir and captain Virat Kohli were informed about the news. They told me to be brave and are lending all support,” Siraj added.