A young Punjabi Australian has just made history - with 19-year-old Gurinder Sandhu from Sydney named in the Australian under 19's cricket squad for the World Cup tournament to be held in Queensland next week.
This makes Sandhu the first Australian of Indian origin to represent the country in cricket at an international level. He is also the first Indian Australian to be signed up by any team in the Australian T20 series, the Big Bash League (BBL). Sydney Thunder has signed Gurinder on to play alongside big-name teammates, including Michael Clarke, Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi.
Speaking to SBS Radio, the right arm pace bowler said he has been playing cricket all his life, starting off in the backyard as a small child. Speaking of how he came to be selected to play for Australia, he said: "A lot of hard work, a lot of training but I guess hard work pays off in the end."
Gurinder also paid tribute to his father, Iqbal Sandhu, who "has been training me since before I could walk, taking me down to the park with a bat or a ball in the hand."
Gurinder is already in the Gold Coast playing warm-up matches against Pakistan in preparation for the World Cup, which starts on August 11, 2012.
Peter Young, Cricket Australia's general manager, public affairs, said: "Cricket has always been a game for all Australians, but we're excited about the fact that we are increasingly seeing people from more diverse backgrounds representing Australia and there's one further step when we have an Indian fast bowler stepping up to take the new ball for Australia in the (under 19's) World Cup."
(Manpreet K Singh is an executive producer with SBS Radio in Australia)