Indian origin Australian to head Cricket NSW

June 4th, 2008 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 4 (IANS) In a remarkable achievement, an Indian origin Australian has become the chairman of arguably the strongest state cricket association - Cricket New South Wales (NSW). G.K Harinath, who prefers to be called “Harry”, is not a greenhorn and has been involved in cricket administration at the Club level in Sydney for nearly three decades, the Indian Link paper here reported.

It all began in 1970 when he completed his MBBS from Osmania University, Hyderabad. One of six highly qualified siblings, medicine seems to be in their blood. Though an elder brother did play first class cricket for Hyderabad, Harry confesses to being a mere “social” cricketer.

Harry came into cricket administration quite fortuitously. A common friend asked him to look after a visiting Indian businessman, F.C. Sondhi - a household name in sports good manufacturing in India. Sondhi took him to dinner with Fred Bennett who was then Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board.

Bennett asked him to come to Balmain Cricket Club to help the cricketers with medical issues on the weekends.

He was on the Executive Committee of the Club in 1979 and was introduced to the New South Wales Cricket Association (NSWCA) in 1981. Within a few years, he was a club delegate to the Sydney Cricket Association. When Bennett died in 1995, Harry became the President of Balmain Cricket Club and also a delegate to the NSWCA.

The parabolic rise in ranks continued when, in 2001, he was elected Director of the NSW Cricket Association (now known as Cricket NSW) and Cricket Australia (CA) in 2004.

Harry thinks he has been able to help improve the relationship between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI).

“It is important to listen to people, seek input and improve”, Harry told Indian Link.

Asked why there weren’t many notable cricketers of sub-continental origin yet, he says: “Within our communities, sport takes a back seat to studying and often there is a lack of commitment to sport.”

When asked if Australia would soon see a cricketer of sub-continental background in the Test team, Harry says: “Yes, it is not far away. Maybe a couple of years.”

He gives the example of Usman Khwaja who, he says, is a brilliant student and a pilot, and who made a very successful first class debut for NSW this season.

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