‘There’s no limit’: How Hasrat is making her mark on the cricket pitch — and inspiring others

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun16,2024
In the bitter Victorian cold, it’s the cricket off-season — in name only — for this promising young talent.
Hasrat Gill is going about her daily training routine, wheeling a kit bag to an indoor cricket net in Melbourne’s south-east while wearing the training outfit of Australia’s national cricket team.
Most days, she’ll spend around two hours padded up, facing a bowling machine catapulting balls at more than 100km/h.

Her technique is precise, having just a split second to react.

A woman wearing a yellow cricket uniform and a green helmet. She kneels and looks behind her after playing a cricket shot.

Hasrat Gill starred with the bat in the Australian U19 clash with England in Sri Lanka. Source: Supplied / Cricket Australia

Born in Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab, Gill migrated to Australia at the age of three.

It has taken years of training for her to reach this level, while juggling high school studies and now a university degree in architecture.
“I love training, and as a sportsperson, a lot of the work you do is at training,” she said.

“You’ve got to enjoy it … I’ve started enjoying it so much that I could just come and bat for hours, and bowl for hours.”

‘It took a couple of days to sink in’

Gill was recently called up to the Australian Under-19s Women’s Squad for a tri-series tour in Sri Lanka, which started last month. It was the culmination of those years of hard work.
“I was told by my state coach, ‘you’re going to Sri Lanka’, and I was like ‘why am I going to Sri Lanka?’ I didn’t believe it. It took a couple of days for it to sink in.”

In her second hit-out with the national team, Gill starred in the town of Sooriyawewa.

Against England, she batted at a rapid pace, scoring 40 not out from 30 deliveries.
With her crafty leg-spin bowling, she took four wickets and conceded only 20 runs.
Gill’s coach, Aldo Kerner, said he spotted her natural talent when she was 11 years old.

“I saw a very determined girl who didn’t give an inch and never took a back step,” he said.

A man wearing a white cricket jumper and white shirt and a green cap posing for a picture in an indoor cricket net

Aldo Kerner said he saw promise in Hasrat Gill from a young age. Source: SBS News / Tys Occhiuzzi

‘Representing two cultures’ on the pitch

Gill is cognisant of the migrant experience she brings to the game.
“I feel like I have a bit more responsibility to represent two cultures, not just one, and I really pride myself on that,” she said.
Her mother, Jagroop, described her national team selection as an “overwhelming” feeling.

“I was emotional. It was a big deal for us … you know how much effort your child is putting in, so seeing her achieving all that, it’s very nice,” she said.

A woman in a long-sleeved yellow top in the room of a house smiles for the camera.

Hasrat’s mother Jagroop Kaur Gill can’t wait for her daughter to one day represent Australia in India. Source: SBS News / Tys Occhiuzzi

She said it was equally gratifying to hear the response from extended family in India.

“Her grandma is in India, and she’s had four daughters. She always had in her head that having boys is more precious or something, but her views have changed now, and she’s so happy.

“Her aunties and everybody there, they are very very happy because she’s the first girl in the family achieving all this.”

According to data from Cricket Australia’s Multicultural Action Plan, released last year, 18 per cent of cricketers in Australia are of South Asian background.
At the elite level, they only make up four per cent of players contracted to state and territory teams.
Around two-thirds of South Asian players reported it was “challenging” to find and join a local cricket club in Australia, compared to one-third of non-South Asian respondents.

“Cricket Australia wants to be a sport for everyone, and so we’re really looking at increasing the opportunities for multicultural people across all aspects of cricket,” Sonya Thompson, Cricket Australia’s head of national development, told SBS News.

‘No limits’ for other aspiring young cricketers

Kerner described Gill as a “good role model”, and that there are “no limits” for girls who also want to reach the elite level.

At just 18, Gill said she has overcome self-doubt and is grateful for the support she’s received from her parents.

Hasrat Gill showing her premiership medal as an U13 player with Lynbrook Cricket Club

Gill’s passion for cricket started with her local club, Lynbrook, in south-east Melbourne. Source: Supplied

“I was always a bit of a tomboy and [my parents] never held that against me. I always liked to get rough and tough, unlike some of the girls in our community,” she said.

“They were very supportive. My dad has thrown so many balls to me over time, he might need a new shoulder now.
“What they’ve done for me, it’s really hard to put into words just how grateful I am.”

This story was produced in collaboration with SBS Punjabi

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “‘There’s no limit’: How Hasrat is making her mark on the cricket pitch — and inspiring others”
  1. Why was Hasrat Gill surprised to be going to Sri Lanka for the tri-series tour?

    1. Hasrat Gill was surprised to be going to Sri Lanka for the tri-series tour because she couldn’t believe it when her state coach initially told her about the opportunity. It took a couple of days for it to sink in that all her hard work had paid off.

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