6 athletes of Indian diaspora emerge on the scene

Indian origin players from around the world


October 26, 2020

/ By / New Delhi

6 athletes of Indian diaspora emerge on the scene

Sim Bhullar's parents had migrated to Canada from Punjab in mid 1980s

After science, literature and arts, sports seems to the latest field for people of Indian diaspora to gain recognition.

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While Indian diaspora has made a mark in many fields around the world, sport is an arena where not too many Indian names have traditionally stood out. However, that seems to be changing now, as more and more Indian diaspora sportspersons are making a name for themselves in their adopted country.
Here are some sportspersons of Indian origin who are a force to reckon with in their nations and are well on their way to global popularity:

Sarpreet Singh, Football

Sarpreet Singh is first Indian origin player to play in the Bundesliga

On December 14, 2019, Sarpreet Singh became the first Indian diaspora player to play in the Bundesliga when he came off the bench to make his debut for German club champion Bayern Munich.

The attacking midfielder was born in New Zealand on February 20, 1999. Initially, he signed for Wellington Phoenix, where he spent four years representing the first team and reserve sides. After impressive stints in the A-League, he was bought on board by German legends Bayern Munich in the summer of 2019.

The 22-year-old Indian origin player was on the bench for a few fixtures before registering his debut and has been an integral part of the club’s reserve team. In the last season, Sarpreet scored seven goals from 20 appearances and was the team’s second-highest goal-scorer in the season.

Luciano Narsingh, Football

Born on September 13, 1990, Indian origin Luciano Narsingh is a Dutch winger, who plays for Feyenoord club in the Eredivisie league. He was part of a few youth academies before making his senior debut for SC Heerenveen in 2008.

Luciano plied his trade for PSV Eindhoven, for four seasons, scoring 21 goals from 115 appearances

Luciano then plied his trade for PSV Eindhoven, for four seasons, scoring 21 goals from 115 appearances. The 29-year-old then had a stint with Swansea City in the English Premier League from 2017 to 2019, his only club outside the Netherlands so far.

Returning to the Dutch league in 2019, he signed for Feyenoord and has scored seven goals from 32 matches in all competitions. In 2012, he made his international debut for the Netherlands at the age of 21 and scored four goals from 19 games. However, Luciano has not featured for the national team since 2016.

Known for speed and vision, a serious injury in 2013 kept him out of action for more than a year. However, he made a remarkable return, rising to the limelight by scoring a winner for PSV against Manchester United in a Champions League group fixture in 2015.

Tanvie Hans, football

Tanvie Hans is an English footballer of Indian diaspora who plays for Banglore United in Karnataka Women’s League. She also plays for Karnataka women’s football team. She has also played for English clubs like Tottenham Hotspurs and Fulham Ladies. She is the only English women footballer of IWL.

The 26-year-old Delhi born midfielder was also the poster girl for Gurinder Chadda’s film Bend It Like Beckham.

Diviya GK, Cricket

Diviya GK is the former captain of Singapore women’s cricket team

Diviya GK, Indian origin women and former captain of the Singapore women’s cricket team has had a unique journey in the sport. She began playing with men early in her career and became the first and only woman to ever play in the men’s league. An off-spinner, she continues to play for the men’s team of the Singapore Cricket Club.

The 33-year-old was born to Indian parents in Singapore in 1987. GK has so far played in Australia, South Africa, and the Netherlands. She is also involved in coaching at the Rex Martens Cricket Academy in Singapore and the Quick Club in the Netherlands.

“My cousins were on the national cricket team for Singapore, and I used to play cricket with them at the void decks when I was about 13 years old. They would tease me by saying that I cannot play cricket because I am a girl,” she says.

Sim Bhullar, Basketball

Gursimran Sim Bhullar is a Canadian basketball player who plays for Yulon Luxgen Dinos of the Taiwanese Super Basketball League. He also played college basketball for New Mexico State University. Sim Bhullar is recorded as the first player of Indian descent who was signed up for an NBA team after he joined the Sacramento Kings for the 2014 NBA Summer League.

Bhullar, 24, was born in Toronto on December 2, 1992, and grew up in Brampton. His parents had migrated to Canada from Punjab in mid-1980s. He is also a two-time WAC tournament MVP, winning the award in 2013 and 2014, where he also helped New Mexico State reach the NCAA Tournament.

At 7 feet 5 inches, he also became the sixth-tallest player in NBA history, being tied with Chuck Nevitt and Pavel Podkolzin for that record.

Diego Biseswar, Football

Diego Biseswar is another Dutch player with Indian origin

Diego Biseswar is yet another Dutch player of Indian diaspora born in Amsterdam, on March 1988. The attacking midfielder was part of Ajax Academy in his early days before joining Feyenoord in 2001. Four years later, he made his senior team debut with the club and continued with the Dutch side until 2012. Though he was sent on loan for two seasons, Diego built the pillars of his career at Feyenoord.

In 2012, the 32-year-old moved to Turkish club Kayserispor, where he played 130 matches and made 43 goal contributions. Currently, he plays as a left-winger for Greek club Paok.



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