SANDHU CRUSHER: East Albury recruit wants to be next Mitchell Johnson

FROM Lord’s to Alexandra Park, the East Albury Cricket Club is about to get a whole lot quicker after landing British paceman Gurjit Sandhu.

The 21-year-old is a part of the Middlesex County Cricket Club whose drive and ambition has bought him across the world to play in Australia until the English winter begins to thaw.

Sandhu lists former English captain Andrew Strauss and Aussie opener and county captain Chris Rogers among teammates.

And while he can hurl them down at 135 kilometres an hour, it’s the search for the express pace of Mitchell Johnson that has brought Sandhu halfway across the world.

Sandhu expects to play tomorrow against Wodonga.

“I’ve always thought that it would be a great opportunity to play abroad and then this opportunity came up,” he said.

“I want to bowl on different pitches, with a different ball and in different conditions.

“That way when I go back to England I’ll have more in the armoury, be better at playing a different types of cricket.”

Sandhu arrived in Australia early on Wednesday morning but after “a good night’s kip” said he was feeling refreshed and ready for his first training session with his new East Albury teammates last night.

The fast bowler says that while he is quick, he wants to be the quickest going around.

“At the moment I’m in the mid-80 miles an hour range, which I think is around 135km/h here but one day I’ll get it up to 150 kilometres”, he said. “One day.”

The ambitious cricketer has played with and against numerous cricket greats during his time at Middlesex, but perhaps none more so than former England captain Strauss.

“Andrew was at Middlesex when I started, so I’ve played a few games with him,” Sandhu said.

“He was like the father figure of the club, he had this sort of presence about him.

“He’d just go around and offer little bits of advice to everyone. 

“He was just a top bloke to have around.”

Sandhu also credited Middlesex captain and Australian opening Test batsman Rogers for helping him get to where he is now.

“Chris has really pushed me at Middlesex,” he said.

“He’s actually helped me out quite a lot and I think he’s one of the reasons why I’ve played a few more games this year.

“Chris wanted me around the team at the start of the year, and picking the squad is a group decision but I know that he was quite instrumental in putting me in the team.”

However Sandhu hadn’t got around to congratulating Rogers on the recent Ashes victory in Perth.

“I didn’t send him a message or anything, but I probably should have,” Sandhu chuckled.

Sandhu has been a professional for Middlesex since 2011.

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