Story of a Cricket philanthropist and ambassador ……
When someone of the stature of Sachin Tendulkar greets you on your birthday, you MUST be special.
Very touching and heart-warming is the story of Manpreet (Manu) Singh. Born in Delhi and losing
his father at a very young age, Manu moved to Sydney, Australia in 2009, when as a 20-year-old he
went Down Under to pursue his academics.
The story of a young 20-year-old who move to further his personal interests and his journey for a
decade now that encompasses enormous philanthropical pursuits at the highest level makes for
fascinating and inspiring reading.
Cricket has been the engine that Manu Singh has used to drive his endeavours, and his contributions
in an adapted country should inspire any migrant on how much can be achieved for the welfare of the
As a champion and supporter of disabled and handicapped cricketers, Manu began working at the
Cricket Connects Exhibition Ambassador at the Sydney Cricket Ground, one of the largest cricket
exhibitions held worldwide. As part of this exhibition he had the opportunity to work with former
Australian Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott
A long-term volunteer with the McGrath Foundation, Manu has also helped Steve Waugh Foundation
and Bradman Foundation and supports the Khalsa Aids charity events. He is currently working with
The Returned and Services League, Australia (RSL) to honour the contribution of Indian troops in
Manu is also associated with NSW Police and works with them in improving their relationships with
international students, and in helping the Police to reach out and engage with these students for their
safety and well-being. On behalf of McGrath Foundation, he presented NSW Acting Police
Commissioner with a signed cricket bat and a written message on it to them, for their support of the
McGrath Foundation and Cricket.
He has received two Awards of Appreciation from NSW Police for his community work and a
Community Service Award from the National Sikh Council of Australia in recognition of his ongoing
community services work.
Appreciation from his home land was not to be missed out as well. Manu received an award of honour
from the Government of India Ministry of Culture for his work as an Ambassador for Cricket
What did someone who loves cricket so much do with bat and ball? Manu played cricket and was
undergoing coaching, returning home after long hours at the camps. Losing his father at age 13, and
being the only child, he couldn’t bear to see his mother alone at home for long hours. Young Manu
decided to finish school and be home on time, which limited his time for cricket on a personal front.
And other highlights/key events of the Manu Singh journey, in the last three decades?
Donated his celebrity signed cricket bats for auction at Khalsa Aid fundraising events in
Sydney and Melbourne and raised AUD 250,000 for natural disasters in two days. The intent
was to be a role model, and reach out to the worldwide community to make a difference by
bringing the Australian and Indian communities together through cricket; to help spread
Khalsa Aid’s message of recognising the whole human race as one; and in doing so motivate
and inspire the community to reach out and help the needy.
Supported the Fight Against Domestic Violence Campaign by participating in the White
Ribbon Walk to end domestic violence in Sydney
Working alongside former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Manu has the PM sign a cricket bat
with a message for Indian Prime Minister Shiri Narendra Modi to congratulate him on the
Cricket Connects exhibition in Australia. This signed bat was on display during the
Presented former PM John Howard the book of “Cricket Connects India-Australia Cricket
Relations” during a meeting at his office about Cricket Connects.
As a McGrath Foundation volunteer, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball tweeted a
picture of him and Manu at the 2017 Pink Day Test. The message was to demonstrate support
for this great cause of McGrath Foundation, celebrating the lives of breast cancer patients,
represent Sikhism positively to the world and demonstrate how multicultural communities
contribute to the success of Australia.
At every Pink Test he celebrates the occasion by wearing a pink turban and pink themed
outfit. The Daily Telegraph published a picture of Manu in his pink turban with Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnball at the Pink Test. Manu hopes these will inspire other Indian
migrants to get involved in cricket-based charities and support these great causes.
Has donated a large painting of the Steve Waugh Foundation, a charity for children with rare
diseases, to help them raise money for the charity.
Was selected by Cricket Australia to be in a cricket commercial for the Australian Summer
cricket season, which aired on TV and online. He was featured as an Australian supporter in
a turban with the Australian flag. This same image was created into a one-page newspaper
advertisement in Indian newspapers advertising the coming cricket season.
Was conferred a Community Service Award from the National Sikh Council of Australia in
recognition and appreciation of his ongoing community services work.
Has participated in the Anzac Day Parade for the last four years, marching under the banner
of the Sikh Regiments of WW1 and WW2 to commemorate those who served in the world
wars The Sikh Regiment group. This is to remind the Australian community of the Indian
Army’s contribution in the World Wars; it helped show a true bonding, mateship and respect
between Australians, young and old, and the Sikhs; helped remember the Sikh Anzacs and to
reflect on their courage and service for others; this was important because the Sikhs played a
major role in Gallipoli alongside the Anzacs, but this is often forgotten.
The above endeavour is especially important because turban wearing people were denied
entry to The Returned and Services League, Australia (RSL) clubs in the 1980s and 1990s.
and there was a greater need to spread information about the contributions of Indian and Sikh
Manu has been working with the RSL Secretary to honour the Sikh War heroes.
His favourite international cricketing moment? Manu Singh swapped his native Indian colours for
something special in support of the mighty West Indies during their 2015 tour to Australia just before
the World Cup. Joining the Windies during their practice session at the SCG as a net bowler, not only
was it the team who he was showing his support to, but also a Caribbean legend of the game.
Recalling, Manu says “I went to the SCG during their [West Indies] practice session with my best
mate Scott Holda, and after the session, I went to shake hands with the Big Black Cat, Sir Clive
Lloyd. After telling him that I am supporting the Windies, I asked him if I could tie a special red
maroon turban, and explained the significance of it. As he was a role model of Indian cricket legend
Bishan Singh Bedi, Clive was delighted about the idea. I tied the turban and he said that he loved it.
We then talked about cricket for about an hour. On this New Year’s Day, it was one of the greatest
experiences of my life.”
An eligible bachelor with a string of awesome achievements for someone so young, Manu spends
time at this adopted country and also regularly visits India to be with his mother.
No wonder, “God” Tendulkar himself deemed it fit to wish the young achiever the very best on his
30 th birthday!! More strength to his wonderful human being who lives for the needy!!