Cricket 2022: Thunder re-sign Sandhu

Gurinder Sandhu thought he was on his last chance a year ago but is about to head into the new BBL season as one of the Thunder’s most important bowlers after he signed a two-year extension with the men in green.

The 29-year-old had only taken four wickets in the previous two seasons but returned to the sort of form that saw him earn Australian honours with 18 wickets, only one behind teammate Daniel Sams who played an extra four matches.

Sandhu had an excellent campaign with the Thunder, which included a hat-trick against the Scorchers, and said he was still eyeing a return to the national side seven years after his most recent ODI appearance.

“Doing well for Sydney Thunder is my main focus. But, I definitely want to play for my country again,” Sandhu said.

“At the beginning of last season, it felt like I was on my last chance.

“The year before I was delisted for a state contract, and a week before the BBL started, I picked up a replacement contract with the Sydney Sixers, for which I was extremely thankful.

“Last summer was the same. Sydney Thunder offered me a BBL contract just two months before the season started, and that hit me hard. I realised everything came down to me showing what I can do.

“Even though I had no idea of whether I’d get a game, I made sure I ticked all the boxes I needed to. My mindset was simple: if I was picked to play for Thunder, I was going to step onto the field knowing I was ready to go.”

Sandhu is getting ready for his ninth season with the Thunder where his mix of cutters and slower ball bouncers will complement a solid pace attack which includes Sams, Nathan McAndrew and Fazalhaq Farooqi.

“For the majority of my career I’ve had to find form; fight my way back into the team, and I’ve had to fight for contracts,” he said.

“What I’ve taken from that is I do have a strong sense of self-belief and a desire to succeed.

“I was thankful for the opportunity Sydney Thunder and [coach] Trevor Bayliss gave me last summer. I knew I could do what I did, I just needed the chance to show people I could do it.

“This year I’m approaching the BBL with a different mindset: I want to do better than last summer.”

Head of Thunder Andrew Gilchrist praised Sandhu for his form on the field and also the way in which he’s represented and promoted diversity in Sydney’s western suburbs.

“Gurinder had an outstanding 2021/22 summer for Sydney Thunder and also his adopted state, Queensland,” he said.

“However, as someone who was born Sydney’s western suburbs, and whose father emigrated from India to provide his family with opportunities, Gurinder truly represents a strong part of Thunder Nation.

“He’s a genuine crowd favourite, and as a valued member of Thunder we look forward to seeing him achieve the goals he‘s set himself.”

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