Indian origin teen sensation Gurinder Sandhu set to help Oz under-19 team
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Gurinder Sandhu, who is the first ever Indian origin male player to represent Australia in international tournaments, is all set to help Australia defend their Under-19 World Cup title on Sunday.
The blossoming 19-year-old quick from Sydney has helped the Australian youth team's charge into the Under-19 World Cup final with some head-turning performances, including a hat-trick in one of the pool matches against Scotland.
Sandhu, whose dad Iqbal migrated to Australia in the mid 1980s, is living a cricket dream, and believes there will be many more cricketers of different cultural backgrounds who will play for Australia.
Young batsman Usman Khawaja became the first Muslim and first Pakistani-born cricketer to play for Australia when he made his Test debut against England in Sydney in January last year.
"I've played with and against a lot of cricketers from backgrounds in different nations in the grade and youth cricket I've played so far," Sandhu said.
"My dad was from the Punjab region and he came to Australia looking for a better life. My family is really proud of me and my extended family network in India have been really supportive," he added.
"When I was growing up, I loved watching Sachin Tendulkar bat, but a guy like Glenn McGrath was also a real idol of mine. I'm just so happy I'm getting the chance to play for Australia," he said.
In 2001, Lisa Sthalekar became the first cricketer of Indian origin, male or female, to represent Australia when she made her debut in a one-dayer against England.