T20 World Cup 2022 Champions set to inspire legacy of Multicultural Inclusion

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 has today unveiled its ‘2022 Champions’, with 38 industry leaders signing on to support a global celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity through the event.

  • Hailing from more than 15 different cultural backgrounds and from across the fields of sport, business, and community, each ‘Champion’ has committed to connecting people through cricket and culture to instil a sense of belonging and inclusion.
  • The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is the biggest global sporting event to be held in Australia this year, with 16 nations competing in 45 matches across seven host cities from October 16 to November 13.
  • Read more information about the 2022 Champions.

With less than 200 days to go until the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 gets underway, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has unveiled its ‘2022 Champions’, who will aim to inspire a legacy of inclusion and belonging long after the winner is crowned at the MCG on Sunday 13 November.

An inspirational group of 38 leaders from a broad cross-section of communities around the country have committed their support as a ‘2022 Champion’, to advocate for inclusion and diversity using the powerful platform of a home T20 World Cup.

With 16 international teams, featuring 45 matches being played across seven host cities, the T20 World Cup will provide a unique opportunity to connect cricket-loving communities together, showcasing multicultural Australia.

Champions include current Australian Test batter, Usman Khawaja, Adelaide Strikers’ Fawad Ahmed and Jason Gillespie, former Australian Women’s players Mel Jones OAM and Lisa Sthalekar, as well as chefs and restaurateurs, Adam Liaw, Diana Chan and Kishwar Chowdhury, and the Chair of UNICEF Australia, Ann Sherry AO.

Of the 38 ‘2022 Champions’, 18 have returned for the men’s event having supported the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup initiative in 2020. Their support helped create a groundswell of momentum for women’s sport in Australia, which culminated in a record 86,174 fans packing the MCG for the Final between Australia and India on International Women’s Day.

Current Australian cricketer and 2022 Champion Usman Khawaja said: “Sport breaks down barriers, I couldn’t speak English when I came to Australia and sport was the one thing that always enabled me to communicate and engage with others even though I couldn’t speak the language, ”Khawaja said

“There’s no better place to celebrate cultural diversity than Australia, so at the T20 World Cup we just want to see people having fun, no matter where you are from or who you support.”

Chair of UNICEF Australia, Ann Sherry AO, said: “Seeing our cultural diversity on the pitch is key to how we see ourselves and how we engage with all cultural groups who are part of the broader cricket community – it is a powerful symbol of inclusion , ”Sherry said.

“Sport gives visibility to capability, so the fact that it comes in many different backgrounds and profiles, in front of a wide audience, makes diversity visible and positive.”

Local Organizing Committee CEO, Michelle Enright, said: “On behalf of the ICC and the entire LOC, we are incredibly grateful to each and every Champion who has joined our team to embrace and celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity through the shared love of cricket,” Enright said.

“After the success of the women’s program and seeing the positive impact it made on women’s and girls’ sport in this country, I’m excited to see what we can achieve this year as people start reconnecting with their community and look forward to new experiences together.

“We know sport has an unparalleled power to unite people, so we want to harness this energy to ensure the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is a truly inclusive event where fans of all ages, backgrounds and generations can come together and celebrate.

“This Champions program goes to the heart of Cricket Australia’s philosophy of being a sport for all Australians, so once again I’d like to thank our Champions for their support and I can’t wait to work alongside them to share stories, learn about different cultures and connect through cricket. “

See the full list of the 2022 Champions for the Men’s ICC T20 World Cup:

Fawad AhmedPakistani-born Australian Cricketer
Shaniera AkramSocial worker and wife of Pakistani cricket legend Wasim Akram
Russel ArnoldFormer Sri Lankan Cricketer and Commentator
Molina AsthanaPresident Elect – Law Institute of Victoria and Founder of Multicultural Women in Sport
Alex BlackwellICC T20 World Cup Winning Captain
Karina CarvalhoABC News Presenter
Diana ChanFormer winner Masterchef Australia, TV & Podcast Host & Restaurateur
Kishwar ChowdhuryMasterChef Australia Finalist, Chef & Writer
Kamrul Hossain Chowdhury OAMBusinessman and Social Worker
Jeff CookMen’s National Indigenous Cricket Team Head Coach and Former Cricketer
Preeti DagaGlobal Head – Corporate Communications, CHL Group and Chair of AIBC’s Sports
Chapter
Sonia Sadiq GandhiDirector Gandhi Creations, Board Member Multicultural NSW, Australia Day Ambassador 2022
Daren GangaFormer West Indian Cricketer and Commentator
Jason GillespieFormer Australian Cricketer and Adelaide Strikers Coach
Marina GoChair, Super Netball
Giles GunesekeraFounder & CEO of Global Impact Initiative
Jodie HawkinsGM of Commercial & Marketing, Swimming Australia
Rana HussainChampions of Change, Program Director of the Sports Coalition
Johann Jayasinha, National Operations & Media – SNNI Australia
Mel Jones OAMCA Director, Former Australian Cricketer and Cricket Broadcaster
Usman KhawajaAustralian Cricketer & Founder of the Usman Khawaja Foundation
Mary KonstantopoulosFounder of Ladies Who Leg Spin
Kath KoschelFormer Cricketer, Founder of Kindness Factory Australia and Kindness Factory USA
Adam LiawCook, Writer and Television presenter
Pawan LuthraCEO of Indian Link Media Group
Morne MorkelFormer South African Paceman
Sheba NandkeolyarFounder & CEO MultiConnexions Group
Tanya OzielChief Executive of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, Singapore Business Circle and Founder & Managing Director of SportsConnect
Dipen RughaniCEO of Newland Global Group
Gönül SerbestCEO of Global Victoria
Anupam SharmaFilmmaker and Chair of Australia India Film Council
Ann Sherry AOChair of UNICEF Australia
Gurnam SinghFounder of Australian-Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society
Sivaraman toursChair of Multicultural Australia
Lisa SthalekarFormer captain of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, Cricket Commentator
Bharat SundaresanCricbuzz Journalist
David TalallaFormer Cricketer for Malaysia and Match Referee
Gus WorlandTriple M Broadcaster and Founder & Chair of Gotcha4Life

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