By his own admission, the 21-year-old Gurinder Sandhu who debuted for his country could not have pictured himself establishing his own clothing line seven years later, but he’s taken the next step in his life’s journey in his stride.
It was January 2015 when Sandhu played the first of his two ODIs for Australia having burst through the NSW ranks, but come winter 2018, he had relocated to Tasmania for a change in scenery and the opportunity to return to his best and breaking into the Sheffield Shield side.
However, his ambition was curtailed by injury, and his time across the Bass Strait didn’t work out quite as planned.
But last summer an opportunity arose to be a part of the Sydney Sixers’ BBL-winning squad and a friendship with West Indian star, Carlos Brathwaite, that saw his lifelong interest in business materialise further.
“I was teammates with Carlos Braithwaite who is doing some work behind the scenes on his own business so I became good friends with him, spent a lot of time alongside him and he’s helped me get started,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure what the step would be and he offered me some guidance and pointed me in the right direction.”
HMBLE. was founded earlier this year off the back of Sandhu often wearing street wear clothing himself.
“I’ve always liked wearing a lot of street wear clothing. Often you can find me shopping or just going through the Culture Kings stores in the cities that we get to travel to with cricket,”
“I’ve always had an interest in wanting to make my own clothing – from hats to t-shirts, all that sort of stuff, it’s always been there.
Sandhu was proactive in finding an alternative he was passionate about when cricket wasn’t going as planned and thanks the ACA for being there for him.
“Losing a couple of contracts probably led me to starting my business and my study asap. Whereas when I was playing that business interest was sort of there but I didn’t really have that intent to start it and do it.
“The ACA and the help and support they’ve given me has been awesome, through my studying journey so far. I’m really thankful and appreciative of what the ACA do. All of us, whether we’re male or female cricketers, the ACA is a huge part of our life.”
Sandhu’s connections through cricket have meant social media promotion of the new HMBLE gear has started off well with Usman Khawaja and David Warner modelling for him.
“That’s been very helpful so far,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have those connections obviously if I wasn’t a cricketer. I’m really thankful to those guys and Ben Cutting as well as Carlos and a few others who have been helping in terms of some social media and promotion to help me get started.
“It’s hard to say if it’s going well or not so well because I don’t really know, in comparison to other businesses just starting out. I’ve got about 20 items left on my first order and I’m working on the summer range that I’m going to drop soon.”
As far as his cricket plans go moving forward, Sandhu is now living in Brisbane and training this off-season with the Queensland squad.
“I’ve been joining them for all their skills sessions, it’s been awesome to gain access to that level of players and coaches and facilities again,” he said.
“There are a few things I still want to achieve there. I’m only 28, so if my body can stay healthy and I can get back to my best, who knows, I could still be going for another six or eight years.