Gurinder Sandhu knows his best is playing for Australia, which he did twice in 2015.
That remains the 27-year-old fast bowler’s ambition, and his road back there will start with the Sydney Sixers this summer after the defending Big Bash champs signed him up.
Sandhu played two one-day games for his country as a 21-year-old when he was a wicket-taking machine for NSW.
But his cricketing journey since then has been a winding one, moving from NSW to Tasmania where opportunities dried up and he found himself packing up his car and driving back to Brisbane this year.
After eight years at the Sydney Thunder he was also given few reasons for not having his contract there renewed at the end of the Big Bash last summer.
Despite not having a playing deal anywhere for the first time since he was a teenager, Sandhu has been living and training as a professional in Brisbane, believing he still has what it takes to get back to the big time.
When the Sixers reached out with an offer he grabbed it, and Sandhu knows that with the work he has put in he’s just a few wickets away from returning to where he feels he belongs.
“I”m only 27-and-a-half. People might forget that because I have been around for 10 years almost,” he said on Thursday.
“I have been training really hard, my bowling is getting back to as good as it can be. I’ve been living the life of a professional athlete without having a contract, working on my bowling, my batting, my fitness.
“I still think I can play at the level. I still think I can be very good at BBL cricket.
“My best is playing for Australia, playing one-day cricket for Australia, something I am so grateful for.
“But if that’s my best, at 21, I’m sure I can get back there having a lot more experiences on and off the field.”
Sandhu’s BBL career has included 41 wickets in his 47 games with the Thunder, the second-most in franchise history.
The only bowler ahead of him on that list is Daniel Sams, who is now part of the Australian T20 squad.
It’s where Sandhu wants to be, but after the 2020 he has experienced, he knows he has to make the most of his shot with the Sixers if he’s any chance of getting there.
“I’m very happy with where my skills are at, with the yorkers and slower balls, I’m really happy,” he said.
“I’ve been training as if I was a professional … I knew I had to be ready for an opportunity like this.
“I am probably only going to get one opportunity, one chance, and I needed to be firing.
“I want to show everyone that even though I haven’t had a contract and haven’t been in a professional set-up I have still done the work, and I am ready to go.”
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