Wasim Akram, Ravi Shastri among 54 named as Cricket Australia's Multicultural Ambassadors for two years

Wasim Akram, Ravi Shastri among 54 named as Cricket Australia's Multicultural Ambassadors for two years
Image source: Cricket Australia

Melbourne, Australia: Cricket Australia on Wednesday named former Pakistan and Indian stars Wasim Akram and Ravi Shastri among the 54 representatives of its 'Multicultural Ambassadors Program'.

"Cricket Australia is proud to launch its Multicultural Ambassador Program, naming 54 people with diverse background and experience across government, business, sport, media and community as the as the inaugural representatives," said a statement from the board.

Announced as a key action from the Australian Cricket Multicultural Action Plan, the Ambassador Program brings together esteemed leaders from various sectors to advocate for inclusivity and drive positive change within the sport and wider community.

The list of ambassadors includes many past and current players, as well as industry and community leaders, who will champion diversity and support the goals outlined in the Multicultural Action Plan. Inaugural ambassadors include Usman Khawaja, Mel Jones, Wasim Akram, Ravi Shastri, Lisa Sthalekar, Kishwar Chowdhury, Alana King, Peter Varghese, Swati Dave and Fawad Ahmed.

The ambassadors, hailing from government, business, community, media, and cricket will help drive the five focus areas of Australian Cricket's Multicultural Action Plan: Participation, High Performance, People and Representation, Communications and Engagement and Event and Experience.

Focusing on areas specific to their expertise the ambassadors will offer leadership, insight, and support to foster greater connectivity across the Australian cricket landscape.

Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley said: "We are thrilled to welcome such a dynamic and diverse group as Multicultural Ambassadors. Their collective leadership, expertise and passion will be instrumental in driving meaningful change and fostering a more inclusive cricketing community."

"The Multicultural Ambassador Program represents Cricket Australia's unwavering commitment to creating a sport that reflects contemporary Australian society and embraces individuals from all backgrounds. Through collaboration and collective action, the program aims to ensure that cricket remains a welcoming and inclusive sport for all."

"Our objectives are clear: to create more opportunities for multicultural members of the community to engage with cricket, break down barriers, build trust, and drive progress across," he concluded.

Australian player, Usman Khawaja said:

"I am proud to sign on as one of Cricket Australia's Multicultural Ambassadors, I see the sport as a bridge that connects communities and welcomes all, fostering understanding, respect, and unity. As a sport we need to take the next step to ensure we get a greater and more equitable representation of the community as a whole by creating opportunities, celebrating our shared love for the game, and inspiring members of all backgrounds to get involved."

Former Australian player and cricket commentator, Lisa Sthalekar said: "Being a Cricket Australia Multicultural Ambassador is an incredible honor. It is a role that allows me to celebrate and promote the diversity that makes our sport so vibrant and inclusive. Cricket has the power to unite people from all backgrounds, and I am committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome and inspired to be a part of the game."

Engaged for an initial two-year period, the diverse lineup of ambassadors reflects a broad spectrum of cultural backgrounds, with representatives from Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Indigenous Australian, Bangladeshi, Nepali, and Afghani communities. Among the ambassadors are distinguished high-profile figures, influential business leaders and community champions. This diverse composition ensures a multifaceted approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion in cricket and society across all levels.