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Odishatv Bureau

Sydney: Right-arm Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj was on Thursday seen tearing up while singing the national anthem before the start of the third Test of the ongoing four-match series against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Siraj tried hard to hide his emotions but ended up in tears, later wiping them using both his hands, a small video of which was shared by the official Twitter handle of cricket.com.au.

Former India batsman Wasim Jaffer reacted to the incident and tweeted: "Even if there's little or no crowd to cheer you on, no better motivation than playing for India. As a legend once said 'You don't play for the crowd, you play for the country'."

The 26-year-old had made a dream Test debut in the Boxing Day Test and scalped five wickets as India won the match by eight wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

In the build-up to the Test series, Siraj had to overcome the personal tragedy of losing his father, around a week after the Indian cricket team landed in Australia in November. He was given the option of flying back home by the Indian cricket board to be with his family but he decided to stay back in Australia in order to fulfill his late father's wish to represent Team India and perform well.

"It is a very big loss for me because he was my biggest supporter. My father's wish was to see me play for India and make the nation proud. Now, all I want to do is fulfill my father's dream," Siraj had told bcci.tv after his father's death.

"Even though my father is no more in this world, he is still with me in my heart. I talked to my mother who reminded me of my father's dream and encouraged me to perform well for Team India," he had added.


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