Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

Harrdy Sandhu, who plays Madan Lal in 83, represented India in U-19 cricket: ‘I could’ve played in IPL’

Did you know that before he became a successful singer, Harrdy Sandhu almost played cricket for India? The actor plays Madan Lal in Kabir Khan's 83, which stars Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev.

Harrdy Sandhu as Madan Lal, in a still from the 83 trailer.

Harrdy Sandhu has had quite the journey, and this is even before he makes his acting debut with the upcoming sports drama 83. Harrdy has tasted success as a singer, and has also worked as a taxi driver in Australia. But did you know that he played for the India under-19 cricket team, and was on track to play professionally until his career was side-track due to injury.  

On December 24, Harrdy Sandhu will appear as Madan Lal in 83, directed by Kabir Khan. The film dramatises the events of the 1983 cricket World Cup, which was on by an underdog Indian team led by Kapil Dev. Ranveer Singh plays the former captain in the film.  

“I played for around 10 years. I have played for the U-19 cricket team with Shikhar Dhawan. He was my roommate, and I have also played with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma. But in 2006, I had an elbow injury. I was a fast bowler and the injury was on my right arm,” he told The Times of India in 2018. Harrdy decided to go to Australia, where he worked as a cab driver while contemplating settling there for good. “During that time, IPL had started and all those who were junior to me, unka bhi selection ho gaya (they were selected). I felt really bad. I could have easily played in IPL,” he continued.  

After returning to India in 2009, Harrdy met the former physio for the Sri Lankan team. “I started training and got back into the team playing the Ranji Trophy. But three days before the match, I received the same injury,” he told Mumbai Mirror in 2020. This sent him into a depressive spiral, and Harrdy wouldn’t leave his room for weeks on end.  

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It was then that he decided to give singing a shot. He told TOI, “In 2010, I started learning music again and continued learning till 2011. I finally came up with my first album in 2012. Sometimes I do regret not being able to play for India because my coaches also felt that I could play for India. I had the potential, but it was all destiny.” 

In 2013, he released his breakout hit, Soch. And there has been no looking back since. Harrdy has since released hit singles such as Naah, Titliaan, Backbone, and most recently, Bijlee Bijlee.  

First published on: 30-11-2021 at 12:35 IST
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