New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj paid tribute to his late father in Hyderabad on Thursday upon his return from Australia after victory in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. The pacer, who was instrumental in the team's historic series win over Australia, had lost his father back home while he was quarantined in the pacific nation ahead of the tournament. 

Siraj had decided to stay with the team for "national duties" when given an option by the Board of Control of Cricket in India to fly back and be with his family members. In three test matches, Siraj took 13 wickets at an average of 29.5.  

Speaking to media, Siraj said his family told him to fulfil his father's dream when he called home in the aftermath of his passing.

"It was difficult and mentally depressing for me. My family told me to fulfil my dad's dream when I called back home. My fiancee motivated me and my team also supported me. I dedicated all my wickets to him. My celebration with Mayank Agarwal was dedicated to him," Siraj said, as reported by news agency ANI. 

Siraj told Sports Today he went directly to his father's grave after landing in India instead of heading home first. "I didn't go home, directly. I went to the graveyard straight from the airport. I went there to sit with my dad for some time. I could not speak to him but offered flowers to his grave."

"And then I came home. When I met my mom, she started crying. Then I tried to console her, telling her not to cry. It was a different feeling. After 7-7 months, her son had come home. Mon was always waiting for me to return. She was counting down how many days were left for me to return," he added. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja