Sports

Australian cricket’s most common names are Singh and Smith

Two of the three most popular names in Australian club cricket were of Indian origin last year, though Smith and Jones are still near the top of the order.

The surname Singh is common for international cricketers representing India but it is now the most common name for players in Australian teams as well, a Sun-Herald analysis of Cricket Australia data has found.

There were almost 1500 people registered as Singh playing cricket in the 2018/19 season among 247,000 unique names on the MyCricket website last season.

The second-most common surname, Smith, had 954 unique player registrations. Patel was the third most common name, with 604 registrations, while Jones (553) and Brown (546) round out the top five.

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People who have taken Amrit, a Sikh initiation ceremony, similar to baptism in Christianity are given the surname Singh.

Australian Indian Sports, Educational and Cultural Society founder Gurnam Singh said most Indians would take a bat and a ball everywhere so they could play cricket, be it at the beach, a barbecue or in the bush.

Gurnam Singh shows his sister Manjeet Bailie and nephew Rajeer Singh the banner he made for the "Swami army".

Gurnam Singh shows his sister Manjeet Bailie and nephew Rajeer Singh the banner he made for the "Swami army".Credit:Kate Geraghty

"For Indians in Australia cricket is like a religion," said Mr Singh, a Cricket Australia community ambassador. "Who I am today, what made me, is cricket.

"Many Indians in Sydney and Australia run small clubs that play cricket day and night. My friend has a cricket league and they have 40 teams who play every Sunday."

A wave of Indian migrants has helped grow the ranks of local cricket teams with their passion for the game filling both local and representative levels across the country. People named Singh played for more than one club, on average, MyCricket data shows.

Gurinder Singh Sandhu played for Australia in a one-day international game in 2015 and there are promising juniors in the ranks such as Australian Under 16 player Shobit Singh.

Indian-born people were the third-largest group of overseas-born residents in Australia in 2018, totalling 592,000. Meanwhile, New Zealanders have slipped to fourth with 568,000 residents, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figuresRead More – Source

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