Tragedy struck pacer Mohammed Siraj who is now in Australia along with the Indian squad as his father, Mohammed Ghouse, passed away due to a lung ailment in Hyderabad on Friday. He was 53.

The 26-year-old Siraj, who is training with the national team in Sydney, heard the news after returning from the practice session.

“My dad's wish was always this - mera beta, desh ka naam roshan karna (my son, you should make my country proud). And, I will do that for sure,” said the fast bowler, who had lost his elder brother when he was just seven.

READ | Sunil Gavaskar comes to aid of ailing hockey Olympian MP Singh

“I know what kind of hardship my dad faced in my early days driving an auto rickshaw to let me pursue my passion for the game,” said Siraj, who climbed up through the ranks from the bylanes of Toli Chowki.

After a stunning 2016-2017 Ranji Trophy season finish with 41 wickets, Siraj bagged the IPL cap for Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rs 2.6 crores.

“It is shocking. I lost the biggest support of my life. It was his dream to see me play for the country and I am glad that way I could realise that and bring joy for him,” a distraught Siraj informed.

“The coach Shastri Sir and captain Virat Kohli were informed about the news. They just told me to be bold and are lending all the support,” Siraj said.

With quarantine rules in place, Siraj will not be able to travel to India for the last rites.