The Raja Sandhu interview
Over the lockdown we sat down on a video interview with our new exciting Premier Mens Coach. With a cheeky beverage in hand we peeled a few layers off the onion that is Raja Sandhu. (Minus the tears)
When did you first play for Grafton?
This will happen this season!
What is your fondest junior cricketing memory?
Back yard cricket with Pops when I was a child will forever be my fave moments of the game.
Who was your sporting hero, whose poster was on your wall?
Kobe Bryant and My Old Man. Both taught me hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard and to never give up. Anything is possible.
At what age did you decide that cricket was "your sport"
At around 19 or 20 I found I was pretty good at the game. I could hit a ball far and people were scared to face me. There is a lot to like about this game.
How did you get on at secondary school?
I had an awesome time at Mt Roskill Grammar. Performing arts was a big fave of mine purely because I’d get credits for dancing and being goofy. I found the love for cricket in Year 12 after playing a whole lot of other sports. I think secondary school gave me the belief I needed to pursue higher honours in cricket.
Can you remember your first Premier game? And how did you get on?
I played my first premier game for Eden Roskill. It was a T20 game versus Takapuna. I reverse swept my first ball for 4 and then got out but it was my bowling that really stood out. I took 2 wickets in my 2nd over and was on a hat trick! I then bowled the hat trick ball completely off the wicket ... In my defence, it was wet, we were on an artificial pitch and it was my first game!
Have you played cricket outside NZ, who for and how'd it go?
I played for a few years in the UK for various clubs. My last stint was with an amazing small-town club called Rode Park in Cheshire. Had a great time with them! Took 50 odd wickets, half a dozen 5-wicket bags and scored a few tons. The Duke ball is amazing!
Any games that stand out?
There was one game where I scored a ton and backed it up with 5 wickets. Can't remember who we played but that was a fantastic match.
Editors note: Rode Park were playing away at Checkley Cricket Club and Raj came in at No.5 with Rode Park 85 for 3. He then blasted 130 off 54 balls as they set 274 in their 40 overs. Raj then followed up that knock with 6 for 23 off 10 overs with the ball. You can check out the scorecard here. Come on cricHQ, we want this type of system!
Senior cricketing highlights?
Hold the record for 11th wicket partnership in First Class Cricket and playing for NZ XI are probably the biggest highlights for me
Who is your Favourite player you've played with?
Mitchell McClenaghan - Fighter on the field, lover off it
The most 'famous player' you've played against?
Your Grafton legend?
Dylan Taylor - Rig Fantasies
Who is your IPL team and why?
Punjab Kings - I’m Punjabi
Favourite Black Cap?
- Current - Lockie Ferguson
- Past - Jacob Oram
- All-time - Andre Adams [Editors note: ex Grafton player]
Favourite Sporting Hero?
If you could have an all-expenses-paid dinner with 3 people, any 3 people, who would you choose and why?
I’d learn a lot just from their conversations. There’s a lot of knowledge there, plus Dave Chapelle will always have an awesome, funny story about anything they talk about