Harry Sandhu’s journey: From being in India’s 2004 U-19 World Cup squad to playing Madan Lal in ’83’
Mumbai: Punjabi star Harrdy Sandhu, who is a former cricketer and was even selected for India’s U-19 World Cup team, is making his Bollywood debut with the sports drama ’83’.
As the actor is playing the role of famed cricketer Madan Lal in the film, he shared how injuries spoiled his career on the field, but his wish to act was fulfilled.
Talking about his passion for cricket, Harrdy said, “I started out as a fast bowler and I was selected for India’s under-19 cricket World Cup team. Unfortunately, I hurt my elbow during training and even though I tried my best to get it treated, all efforts were futile. Then I went to Australia on a student visa to figure out the next episode in my life and settle there. When nothing seemed to work out, I started driving a taxi to make ends meet.
“One day while driving, I met Sri Lanka’s former cricket physiotherapist who told me my injury is similar to Chaminda Vaas. He suggested me a specific treatment and I flew back to India in the hope of playing cricket again but I had booked myself a return flight to Australia as a backup. Even though I made it to Punjab’s Ranji Trophy team, a few days before the match, my injury resurfaced and that was my last day on the pitch.”
After his stint with cricket, Harrdy started working on music and his first-ever album ‘This Is Harrdy Sandhu’ in 2011 and his career-defining single, ‘Soch’ in 2013 followed by now-iconic singles like ‘Backbone’, ‘Kya Baat Ay’, ‘Hornn Blow’, and ‘Naah’.
Sharing the story on how he bagged the role in the film, Harrdy said, “In February 2019, I was in Chandigarh only for a day and I randomly got a call from Ammy Virk (he was one of the first few actors to be confirmed for ’83’) saying, ‘Come down to the restaurant of your building, I have to make you meet someone.’ That’s when I met Kabir Khan sir and Balwinder Sandhu ji for the first time. We talked about how ’83’ is taking shape and they asked me if I could replicate Madan Lal ji’s bowling action. Coincidentally, Madan Lal ji had coached me at an NCB camp and he was a fast bowler too so I thought I can do this.”
“I practised a lot and sent them a video of me bowling as Madan Lal ji but I didn’t receive a response for a long while. One fine day, I heard from my team that they loved the finesse with which I pulled it off and that’s how I became a part of ’83’. I am elated that after so many roadblocks it is releasing!” concluded Harrdy.
’83’, directed by Kabir Khan, is a sports drama based on the historic World Cup win of the Indian cricket team in 1983.
The film features Ranveer Singh, Ammy Virk, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jiiva, Saqib Saleem, Jatin Sarna, Deepika Padukone, among many others and it releases in theatres on December 24.