Multicultural Ambassador Program

The Multicultural Ambassador Program provides a platform for respected and influential leaders who will advocate for inclusion and diversity. Our objective is to create more opportunities for multicultural members of the community to engage with cricket, and to understand and break down barriers that exist for multicultural participants in cricket and the wider community.

The program brings together a network of leaders from government, business, media, cricket and the community to increase the connection and drive positive change. The ambassadors will provide leadership, insight and support for the 5 main areas of the Multicultural Action Plan continuing to accelerate progress. The program is part of Australian Cricket’s Strategic Plan, “Where the Game Grows”.

  • Usman Khawaja

    Usman Khawaja is an Australian cricketer who plays for the Australian Test cricket team and has captained Queensland for the past six seasons. He made his first-class cricket debut for New South Wales in 2008 and played his first international match for Australia in January 2011. A role model for young Australians, Usman established the Usman Khawaja Foundation to alleviate disadvantage experienced by youth through the provision of educational and cricketing opportunities.

  • Alana King

    An all-format player for Australia, Alana already boasts T20 and ODI World Cups and a Commonwealth Games gold medal. She burst on the scene as a big turning leg-spinner starting at the Melbourne Stars before moving to WA, where in 2021-22 she helped lead the Perth Scorchers to the WBBL|07 title, earning a call up to the Australian squad for the Ashes. Alana is a passionate advocate of inclusion in cricket.

  • Peter N Varghese AO

    Peter is the Chancellor of The University of Queensland, the Chair of Asialink and a board member of CARE Australia. Peter has served as Secretary of DFAT, as the Director General of the Office of National Assessments and as Australia’s High Commissioner to India and to Malaysia. He is the author of the 2018 India Economic Strategy, and the recipient of the Weary Dunlop Medal in recognition of his work on Australia’s engagement with Asia.

  • Lisa Singh

    Lisa is the CEO of the Australia India Institute, a leading research and policy think-tank at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this she was an Australian senator, the first woman of South Asian heritage to be elected to the Australian Parliament; and a Tasmanian parliamentarian and government minister. Lisa loves the convergence of cricket and culture in creating social cohesion and is currently a board director of Australia’s leading mental health organisation Beyond Blue.

  • Wasim Akram

    Wasim Akram, a titan of Pakistan cricket, epitomizes excellence with his remarkable career. Renowned for lethal left-arm pace and devastating swing, Akram dominated batsmen worldwide, amassing over 900 international wickets. A former captain, his leadership guided Pakistan to numerous victories, including the 1992 Cricket World Cup triumph. Akram's mastery in both conventional and reverse swing bowling revolutionized the game. His legacy transcends statistics, inspiring generations with his flair, skill, and unwavering passion for cricket.

  • Swati Dave

    Swati Dave is an experienced non-executive Director and CEO with over 30 years experience. She is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Australia India Relations, Deputy Chair of Asia Society Australia, Director of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and an Independent member of the QIC Global Infrastructure Investment Committee. She was most recently the CEO at Export Finance Australia leading a significant business and cultural transformation.

  • Tanveer Sangha

    Tanveer is an Australian cricketer, hails from southwest Sydney. Born to South Asian parents, Sangha embodies the spirit of multiculturalism in sport. With passion for the sport stemming at a young age, he distinguished himself with his spin bowling skills. Currently, Sangha plays for the Sydney Thunder in the BBL and represents New South Wales in domestic competitions. His journey inspires aspiring cricketers from diverse backgrounds, symbolising the inclusive nature of Australian cricket.

  • Mel Jones OAM

    Mel has covered nearly every role in the game. From club volunteer and coach to Cricket Australia Board Director. After a successful playing career for Australia, including winning two World Cups and Ashes campaigns, Mel turned her hand to commentating the game. Covering domestic and international tournaments across the globe Mel juggles this with her own businesses focused on the development of content and pathways for women in sport.

  • Hon. Barry O'Farrell AO

    Barry O’Farrell served as a member the New South Wales Parliament for 20 years, including as the State’s 43rd Premier (2011-14). Barry was a Trustee of the Sydney Cricket Ground (2016–2019). He served as Australia’s High Commissioner to India 2020-2023.

  • Lisa Sthalekar

    An all-rounder who retired from International Cricket in 2013, Lisa made her debut for Australia in 2001, was part of four successful World Cup victories and had the privilege to Captain her country for a few matches. Lisa is still heavily involved in cricket, as a commentator around the world. She also holds a number of positions including President of FICA, Board member of the ACA, and is a member of the ICC Women’s Committee.

  • Ravi Shastri

    Ravi is a cricket commentator and former international cricketer, playing 80 tests and 150 ODI’s. He was part of the 1983 World Cup winning team and 1985 World Championship of Cricket winning team, where he was player of the series and won the C.K Nayudu lifetime achievement award. He is the former head coach of the Indian cricket team (2017 – 2021) that created history by beating Australia twice in back-to-back series in Australia.

  • Karina Carvalho

    Karina is an Australian television news anchor with 20 years' experience in journalism. Born in Sri Lanka, Karina’s family’s businesses were burned down during the 1983 Colombo riots, prompting them to begin a new life in Perth. It was this experience that would profoundly shape Karina as a journalist. Her love of cricket comes from childhood summers spent watching matches and trips to the WACA with her family.

  • Giles Gunesekera OAM

    Giles, Founder and CEO of Global Impact Initiative, joins Cricket Australia's Multicultural Ambassador Program with 30 years of leadership in global businesses and the Not-for-Profit sector. Giles has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal and an Oxford Outstanding Alumnus Award for his championing of gender equality, human rights, and climate action. Each summer, Giles enjoys playing cricket (poorly) on weekends! His diverse expertise strengthens our commitment to inclusivity in cricket.

  • Sonia Sadiq Gandhi

    Sonia, an innovative entrepreneur and advocate for diversity, founded Gandhi Creations Pty Ltd. A multi-award-winning marketing and events enterprise fostering economic empowerment and cultural diplomacy. Appointed to Multicultural NSW's board, she advances cohesion in New South Wales. Sonia's initiatives, like Fabrics of Multicultural Australia and India Australia Business & Community Alliance, foster global partnerships and collaborations. Committed to intercultural connectivity, she celebrates her Indian heritage while promoting unity in Australia.

  • Russel Arnold

    Former Sri Lankan cricketer who won 225 international caps across all 3 formats (1997 – 2007). Russel is now an international cricket commentator and Level 3 High Performance coach. The father of two is a Trustee with the Foundation of Goodness, working to bridge the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged communities in Sri Lanka, and also an Ambassador for the Emerge Lanka Foundation who work to empower survivors of child sexual abuse.

  • Ann Sherry AO

    Ann is one of Australia’s most well-regarded business executives. She is also an active philanthropist, an ambassador for women and a champion for social justice and inclusion. Ann is the Chancellor of QUT, a non-executive Director of NAB, Chair of Queensland Airports Limited, the Port of Townsville, Enero Group, UNICEF Australia, Circa and a member of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. She is the QLD Co-Chair of the Minerva Network and a former director of Rugby Australia and the Australian Sports Commission.

  • Md Aminul Islam

    Aminul is a former Captain of the Bangladesh National Cricket Team, playing 13 Tests and 39 ODIs, including 1999 World Cup, and scored Bangladesh's first ever Test century, against India, in 2000. He is the ICC Development Manager for Asia, overseeing cricket development across 20 ICC associate member countries. Aminul is Fluent in five languages: Bangla, English, Hindi, Urdu, and Mandarin, and is an ICC Master Educator for Cricket Coaching.

  • Kishwar Chowdhury

    Kishwar is a celebrity chef, writer and tv presenter. She became a fan favourite on the 13th season of Masterchef Australia and has since travelled the world sharing her cuisine. With sold out events and Ted Talks, Kishwar works with government and corporate bodies advocating gender and diversity in the kitchen. Kishwar was a ‘2022 T20 Champion’ advocating multicultural inclusion in cricket at the Men’s T20 World Cup.

  • Scott Boland

    Scott is a Gulidjan man. He has played 10 tests and 14 ODIs for Australia. He received the Mullagh Medal player of match award on test debut at the MCG in 2021. In 2018 he was part of the 150th anniversary tour of England to commemorate the 1868 First XI. Scott appreciates cricket is a vehicle that can help connect the newest Australians with the oldest continuous cultures on the planet.

  • Shaniera Akram

    Known in Pakistan as Quam Ki Bhabi (Sister of the Nation), Shaniera has worked tirelessly in areas such as Child Abuse and Domestic Slavery, education, Women's Rights and the environment. Shaniera is on the board of the National Institute of Child Health, which treats over 1million children in Pakistan per year, absolutely free of cost, and raises money for Imran Khan’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital to build free cancer hospitals in Pakistan.

  • Jason Sangha

    Jason has played 39 First Class matches and 15 List A matches for NSW as well as 32 BBL matches for Sydney Thunder. In 2017 Jason captained the Australian Under 19 team to the World Cup Final and in that same year represented the Cricket Australia XI against a full-strength England team, thus becoming the second youngest player ever to score a First Class century against England, second only to Sachin Tendulkar.

  • Gönül Serbest

    Gönül was appointed the Commissioner for Victoria to strengthen the State’s presence, profile, and trade & investment connections across the territories she serves. Immediately prior, Gönül was the inaugural CEO of Global Victoria. She has a passion for global engagement and platforms that empower young leaders and women to participate in areas of trade, culture and sport. Her interest in cricket stems from playing backyard cricket as a child.

  • Bharat Sundaresan

    Bharat is a global cricket commentator, broadcaster and writer who hails from Mumbai, India but now calls the Adelaide Hills home. Bharat has been covering cricket for nearly 17 years. He writes for Cricbuzz and is a columnist for The Australian. He is a colour commentator for SEN and Channel 7 and you'll also see & hear him on the ABC. He is also a SACUSA-accredited umpire.

  • Sheba Nandkeolyar

    Sheba is Founder CEO of leading diaspora multicultural agency MultiConnexions. She is President of International Advertising Association Australia, IAA Global DE&I Council Chair, former National Chair of Australia India Business Council, former DFAT board member of Australia India Council and Advisory Board Member Media Diversity Australia. A former ICC T20 World Cup Champion (2020 & 2022), she loves cricket and is keen to drive engagement of cricket among women and CALD audiences.

  • Kamil Khan

    Kamil is a businessman based out of Australia and Dubai, who is deeply invested in various sports ventures and real estate. A Pakistani-born Australian, he is a key figure in the cricket community, both owning a Sydney based cricket academy and founding the highly successful Multicultural Cup at the SCG. Kamil’s commitment includes organizing various multicultural events in Australia, promoting cultural unity and diversity through sports.

  • Saru Rana

    Saru Rana, CEO of Shamshir Foundation, is dedicated to challenging social taboos through compassionate dialogue. With a mission to combat bullying and abuse, she initiated an educational initiative for children, now contributing to a global movement for safer, more inclusive communities. Previously, she served as Deputy-Chair at Playford Suicide Prevention Network and a Multicultural Community Ambassador at SANFL. She sits on the Advisory Board for the Multicultural Cricket Advisory Committee of South Australia, and advocates fervently for female participation in sports, promoting empowerment and inclusivity.

  • Fawad Ahmed

    Fawad is a Pakistan-born former international cricketer for Australia, who also played for Victoria, and franchise cricket all over the world. Now a professional coach, Fawad brings experience of more than two decades of playing all around the world, with professional qualifications (High-Performance L.3 coach) to guide subcontinental background players through the Australian cricket pathway systems. He is a passionate multilingual (Urdu, Hindi, Pashto, English) coach connecting community and Australian cricket.

  • Michelle Wade

    Michelle Wade is an experienced Australian trade official, currently serving as Commissioner - South Asia based in Bengaluru, India for the State Government of Victoria, Australia.  She has held previous Australian diplomatic postings to Italy, Malaysia and Spain. Michelle grew up in and retains close connections to Woolgoolga, NSW, home to Australia’s first Sikh community.  Michelle has served on CII’s National Committee of Sports in India and on the board of Musica Viva Australia.

  • Dr Ashutosh Misra

    Dr Ashutosh is Project Lead-Multicultural at Queensland Cricket championing diversity and inclusion, and multiculturalism. He is a former ICC T20 World Cup Champion (2022). He organises Multination competitions, Cricket Blast for multicultural kids and the Goodwill Cup between South Asian community and Queensland Police. He is also the CEO of the Institute for Australia India Engagement (IAIE) and previously worked for the United Nations and the Government of India.

  • Harinder Sidhu AM

    Harinder is the Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand. An experienced diplomat and public servant, she has worked in fields as diverse as climate change and defence and security. Harinder served as Australia’s High Commissioner to India (2016-20), where she developed her love of cricket. She is a passionate advocate for greater multicultural leadership and serves on the Boards of the ANU’s Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership and the Young Sikh Professionals Network.

  • Ashton Agar

    Ashton Agar is an Australian cricketer who plays all forms of the game at international level. He plays domestically for Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers. A left-handed spin bowler, Ashton played two Test matches for the Australian national side during the 2013 Ashes series and five Test matches in his career. Agar was also a member of the Australian team that won the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai and Oman.

  • Rana Hussain

    Rana, a leader in diversity and inclusion, developed her expertise in high-performance sports. She's a prominent woman of colour in sports administration and media, featuring across the summer of cricket as a broadcaster and presenter. As the founder of consultancy Good. Human, she guides organisations in fostering inclusive, high-performing cultures. With governance roles in Reconciliation Australia and Victorian Women’s Trust, Rana blends her diverse background as a Muslim, Indian Australian into her work.

  • Swarup Afsar

    Swarup is a national award-winning pharmacist, visionary entrepreneur and innovative leader in his industry. Coming to Perth at the age of 15, he embraced cricket playing top level grade cricket from a very young age. Despite the demands of his professional life, Swarup founded the Royal Bengal Cricket Club in 2013, using cricket to unite people from all cultures. He actively nurtures young talent in community and club cricket structures.

  • Hannah Darlington

    Hannah is an Australian Cricketer who represents the NSW Breakers and Sydney Thunder. Hannah became the youngest captain in Australian domestic cricket history, being only 19 when she took on the honours. In 2021 she made her debut for Australia, becoming the third indigenous woman to do so. Hannah is also a casual facilitator with Burn Bright, supporting youth leadership and wellbeing and is co-host of podcast ‘She’s in the Game’.

  • Dipen Rughani

    Dipen Rughani, a seasoned business leader with 27 years' experience, focuses on bolstering Australia-India economic ties. As CEO of Newland Global Group, he advises 300+ companies on strategy. Renowned for his bilateral insights, he's served as AIBC National Chairman, showcasing expertise in business diplomacy. Passionate about cultural engagement, he supports Anoopam Mission Australia, reflecting his commitment to social upliftment. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Dipen blends corporate excellence with cultural compassion.

  • Molina Asthana

    Molina is an experienced commercial lawyer, Chair of Gymnastics Victoria and serves on various boards including Law Institute of Victoria, Good Shepherd ANZ, AFL Victoria Regional Advisory and Table Tennis Victoria. Molina is the founder of Multicultural Women in Sport and advisor to the Australian Sports Commission on three projects. She is Victoria’s Change Her Game Ambassador and the National Chair- Sport, Art and Culture for Australia India Business Council.

  • Ashley Chandrasinghe

    Ashley is a 22 year old left-handed batter from Victoria who played his junior cricket at Buckley Ridges Cricket Club and currently plays for Casey-South Melbourne Cricket Club. The highlight of his career is scoring an unbeaten century on debut for Victoria against Tasmania in 2022. He is a passionate advocate for multicultural participation in Australian cricket, from children starting to learn the game through to the high-performance pathways.

  • Preeti Daga

    Preeti is a prominent member of the Indian diaspora and a passionate advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion. She spearheaded the establishment of a dedicated sports industry focused chapter at the Australia India Business Council and has served as T20 Champion for the last two T20 World Cups (2020 and 2022). She is leading Communications and Engagement for Australia's largest not-for-profit affordable housing organisation, which has assisted over a million people.

  • Pawan Luthra

    Pawan is the CEO of the Indian Link Media Group, encompassing print, radio, social and digital platforms for the Indian Australian community. He has twice been awarded the Multicultural Journalist of the Year. He is a regular guest on ABC TV’s The Drum and continues to provide commentary on ABC TV and ABC Radio Sydney. Pawan served as T20 Champion for the ICC T20 World Cups in Australia in 2020 and 2022.

  • Mitu Bhowmick Lange

    Mitu is an Australian/Indian producer, film distributor and festival director. She is the Director of Mind Blowing Films, the leading distributor of Indian Cinema in Australia & Oceania region. Mitu is the Founder and Festival Director of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), the largest celebration of Indian Cinema outside of India. Mitu currently sits on the board of WIFT and CAIR (Centre for Australia India Relations).

  • Gurinder Sandhu

    Gurinder Sandhu is an Australian cricketer who has represented Australia, Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers, the Tasmanian Tigers and now plays for the Queensland Bulls. He is the first male cricketer of Indian descent to represent Australia in an international tournament. Sandhu was a regular for Australia A, playing three separate series, was the Steve Waugh Medalist in 2012/2013, and made his senior international debut for Australia in a One Day International against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in January 2015.

  • Tanya Oziel

    Tanya is the Chief Executive of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, a regional business influencer with 30 years of experience. Specialising in forging trusted partnerships with senior leaders in the public and private sectors, she has built the Circle into the region's most prominent business organisation. Tanya advocates for female leader advancement through Womenleaders by the Circle and is also the founder of SportsConnect, a platform advancing collaboration between business and sports.

  • Richard Chee Quee

    Richard was the first person of Chinese and Pacific Island descent to play First Class Cricket in Australia. His distinctive flair and talent were highlighted with centuries against the West Indies, and in the 1993/94 Mercantile Mutual Cup Final. ‘Cheeqs’ has been equally impactful off the field, inspiring multicultural kids to love and play the game. His passion continues today as a Committee Member of the SCA Judiciary and Randwick Petersham CC.

  • Rita Anwari Sultani

    Rita is the founder and director of the Australia Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), Women Empowerment and Leadership (WEL), and Peace for Asia. Arriving in Australia from Afghanistan in 1993, Rita's firsthand experience of conflict zones fueled her dedication to tirelessly advocate for women's rights and education. Rita has earned international recognition as a dynamic leader with experience in community engagement, government, international relations, education, and business development.

  • Anupam Sharma

    Anupam is an award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur recognised for pioneering Australia’s modern links with Indian film industry. Named as one of the 50 most influential Australian film professionals, he is the chair of Australia India Film Council, on the diversity board of Screen Queensland, Indian cinema advisor for the DENDY/Icon group and has been nominated as an Australia Day Ambassador for 12 years in a row in recognition of his work in diversity and films.

  • Daren Ganga

    Daren is a highly accomplished former West Indian Cricketer who was Vice-Captain and Captain of the West Indies Senior Men's cricket team. He is a TV Broadcaster and Commentator. He has acquired extensive experience in sport administration, student-athlete development and project management within the employ of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Faculty of Sport. Daren completed a BSC Law; from the University of London, and in 2017 completed his MBA.

  • Gitesh Agarwal

    Since April 2022, Gitesh has led the Corporate Affairs, Government Relations & Advocacy function for HCLTech in APAC. Previously, he has delivered roles as the Commissioner (South Asia) for the Queensland Government, and has earlier held CEO, CMO level roles in corporate sector. He is a Certified coach, facilitator, and Certified Company Director. He was twice chosen as 'Top 100 Chief Marketing Officers” in India, through independent global agencies.

  • Bijaya Joshi

    Bijaya (or BJ) is a passionate cricket coach and administrator who has been serving as the President of the Adelaide Nepalese Cricket Association (ANCA) since 2016. He strongly believes in using the power of cricket to connect the wider community and is constantly working to design programs to truly make cricket a sport for all. Professionally BJ is an Engineer, currently working as Senior Building Services Engineer with Hansen Yuncken.

  • Sanjay Sharma

    Sanjay Sharma, President of IAMSA (Indian Australian Multicultural Sports Association) and founder of the Yerrabi District Junior Cricket Club (YDCC) in Canberra, ACT, is a catalyst for community cohesion through sports. Recognised with the 2021 Outstanding Service to Sport award by the ACT government and the 23/24 Community Cricket Award by Cricket ACT, Sanjay's leadership exemplifies dedication to fostering diversity including women and, youth empowerment within the cricketing community.

  • Amit Lohani

    Amit is the president of the Queensland Nepalese Cricket Association and a respected community leader. He is a community engagement officer in the public service and works tirelessly to establish relationships with key stakeholders to advance sports throughout Australia. He is a dedicated cricketer, focused on engaging with multicultural communities across the country to increase participation in and support for cricket among new migrants and people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

  • David Talalla

    David has extensive experience in Inclusion & Diversity in sport, having been an AFL Multicultural Ambassador and T20 Champion for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. He has worked with a broad range of organisations to promote and implement cultural change. David is also a member of the Ben Simmons Family Foundation Game Changer Advisory Committee, which helps provide opportunities for those from a CALD background especially in education, leadership and employment.

  • Nilesh Makwana

    Nilesh is a global and national award-winning entrepreneur, CEO of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact partner company illuminance Solutions, and best-selling author. Nilesh strives to foster positive change through empowering individuals and organisations to embrace diversity and inclusion, practice Servant Leadership & Karmic Management, and become active citizens. He previously held the position of ICC T20 World Cup Champion. He is a frequent media commentator in local, state and national publication.

  • Hamish Solomons

    Hamish has spent his entire life around cricket being born in Sri Lanka and spending most of his childhood and working life at Kingsgrove Sports Centre. He is a Level III High Performance Coach who has worked with Cricket NSW, St George Sutherland Women’s Club and St George DCC where he is a Life Member. Hamish is the Manager and head coach at the Norm O'Neill Cricket Training Facility, and President at Joeys Sports Club.

  • Kamrul Chowdhury

    Kamrul Chowdhury, with his wife Laila, are pillars of the Bangladeshi community of Australia. He is a business owner and philanthropist who has supported the growth of the community in Melbourne & Australia. Their commitment for community enrichment spans over 40 years, supporting the arts, sports, education and healthcare. Kamrul was a ‘2022 T20 Champion’ advocating multicultural inclusion in cricket at the Men’s T20 World Cup.

  • Gurnam Singh

    Gurnam is a dynamic social entrepreneur and communications expert. He is the founder of the Australian Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society (AISECS) and Swami Army. Chosen among 25 most influential Indian Australians in NSW, Gurnam sits on numerous boards in advisory roles to strengthen bilateral ties including with NSW Police and wears multiple hats within the education, sport and government sectors. Gurnam is also a strong advocate for the McGrath Foundation.

  • Johann Jayasinha

    Johann is the National Operations and Media Manager at SNNI Australia, with over two decades of experience in both domestic and international cricket. Throughout his career and in his capacity as a ‘2022 T20 Champion’, Johann has been privileged to work with Cricket Australia, the ICC, Cricket Victoria, Melbourne Stars, Melbourne Renegades, and the Hobart Hurricanes. Additionally, he holds a prestigious qualification in Project Management from Oxford University.

  • Rajendra Pandey

    Rajendra has worked as a lawyer, accountant, auditor, and now serves as Captain in the Australian Army. He is the President of World Hindu Council of Australia (SA) and its National Spokesperson. The City of Unley ‘Citizen of the Year’ and passionate cricketer, he has launched several initiatives including Hindu Cricket Club spearheading participation of girls and women from the Indian and Hindu community in cricket.