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Punjabi-origin Jason Jaskirat Singh to lead Australia in Under-19 cricket World Cup

When Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha leads the Australian cricket team at the  Under-19 cricket World Cup, he will be the first cricketer of Indian-origin to lead the side from Down Under.

cricket Updated: Dec 21, 2017 10:38 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Australia cricket team,Jason Sangha,ICC U-19 World Cup
Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha’s father, Kuldeep Sangha, was a native of Bhatinda in Punjab, and was a state level athlete who then moved to Australia in the 1980s for college education and settled down in the country.(HT Photo)

For Silvia and Kuldeep Sangha, it was like a festival as friends and relatives poured into their house in New Castle to congratulate them on their 18-year-old son Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha being named captain of the Australia U-19 team for the ICC Youth World Cup to be held in New Zealand next month.

When Sangha walks out to the captains’ parade at the start of the World Cup, he will be the first cricketer of an Indian-origin to lead an Australia team.

Recently, the Australian teenager, who figured in the Cricket Australia XI, became the youngest cricketer since Sachin Tendulkar to score a first-class century against England at 18 years and 71 days, against an attack led by England stars Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.

“It is an honour to lead your country in such a tournament. It is something I had dreamt about. I could have been in the U-19 Australian team for the last World Cup in Bangladesh at 16. Hopefully, we will fare well in New Zealand as we have a balanced unit which has been playing together for a long time now,” said Jason, who was part of the Australia’s preliminary team for last U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Australia had withdrawn from that tournament because for security reasons, however, Sangha was still able to represent his country in Youth ODIs against Pakistan and New Zealand in Dubai. Sangha made the right noises at 16 and become the youngest player in NSW cricket history to be awarded a state rookie contract.

His father was a native of Bhatinda in Punjab, and was a state level athlete who then moved to Australia in the 1980s for higher education with an aim to making a name for the Sangha family. Cut to 2017: His son Jason, is making the Sangha family popular with his cricket accolades.

Another cricketer of the Indian-origin, Param Uppal, 18, also of New South Wales is a classy right-handed batsman who scored 370 runs at this year’s under-19 championships at an impressive average of over 60. Uppal also bowls right-arm off-spin. Praising the Sydney-based Uppal, Sangha said, “It is wonderful to have fine cricketer like Param in the team. His all-round abilities can turn it around. We would like to give our best and bring back the title back to Australia.” Sangha’s parents own four Indian restaurants by the name of “Raj’s corner” in New Castle.

The young Uppal struck an excellent century in the first youth ODI for Australia U19s against Sri Lanka U19s at Kingston’s Twin Oval recently. Another New South Wales cricketer, Gurinder Sandhu, who had roots in Faridkot in Punjab, was the first Indian-origin cricketer to have made debut for Australia.

Former Australian legendary cricketer Steven Waugh’s son Austin Waugh is also part of the team. The 17-year-old batsman’s selection sees him follow in the footsteps of ex-Australian Test skipper. Austin made his Sydney first-grade debut as a 17-year-old this year.

Australia last won the U-19 World Cup in 2010. Australia has been drawn in Pool B, and begins its World Cup campaign against India on 14 January at Tauranga’s Bay Oval.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 19:37 IST