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Singh domination of cricket in Australia

Shobit Singh (right) celebrates his century against Pakistan in Dubai. Source: Supplied

Analysis of My Cricket data reveals that Indian surnames are most popular in club cricket in Australia.

Indians’ love for cricket is no secret and this is now fuelling the sport at the grass-roots level in Australia with analysis showing Indian surnames being the most popular in club cricket. 

It’s not just the school students and young adults playing the sport. Many migrants of older ages are also signing up to play cricket these days. Some, are reigniting their passion for the bat and the ball.

29-year-old Gurwinder grew up in Jalandhar and trained with Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh in the same nets where the legendary off-spinner honed his skills. But Mr Singh quit the game due to lack of further avenues and moved to Australia in 2009.

“For the first few years, I didn’t know about club cricket here and didn’t play at all. It was in 2015 that I saw a post on Facebook asking for a stand-in player for a cricket match. That’s how I was reintroduced to the game,” he told SBS Punjabi.  

Mr Singh now plays for United Wyndham SC and multiple unregistered teams.

SBS Punjabi

His teammate Gulsher Singh had represented his state of Punjab in the national school cricket tournament before he quit the sport due to personal reasons. But after he moved to Australia in 2013 as an international student, he started playing again.

“It’s largely for weekend fun and an opportunity to meet friends and teammates during the game,” he says.

He says the availability of sporting infrastructure is the biggest drawcard.

“We have the grounds, the practice nets and people willing to play. How could one resist even when I had quit the game and never thought I’d play again,” Mr Singh told SBS Punjabi.

An analysis by Fairfax Media of My Cricket data, Singh was the most popular surname in club cricket in Australia. There were nearly 1500 people registered as Singh in the 2018-19 season, followed by Smith (954) and Patel (604).

Other Indian surnames among top-thirty were Kumar, Sharma and Khan. 

Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha
Gurinder Singh Sandhu and Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha.

While the current Australia team doesn’t have any player of Indian background, Gurinder Singh Sandhu represented Australia in 2015 and plays in the BBL. 

But there are a few players of Indian heritage who could soon be knocking at the selectors’ door.

NSW batsman Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha, given his recent exploits on the cricket field, is a bright prospect for Australian cricket besides U-16 cricketer Shobit Singh.

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