- 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 Organising 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 Organising 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 Ahmed, Pakistani-born Australian Cricketer
Shaniera Akram, Social worker and wife of Pakistani cricket legend Wasim Akram
Russel Arnold, Former Sri Lankan Cricketer and Commentator
Molina Asthana, President Elect - Law Institute of Victoria and Founder of Multicultural Women in Sport
Alex Blackwell, ICC T20 World Cup Winning Captain
Karina Carvalho, ABC News Presenter
Diana Chan, Former winner Masterchef Australia, TV & Podcast Host & Restaurateur
Kishwar Chowdhury, MasterChef Australia Finalist, Chef & Writer
Kamrul Hossain Chowdhury OAM, Businessman and Social Worker
Jeff Cook, Men’s National Indigenous Cricket Team Head Coach and Former Cricketer
Preeti Daga, Global Head - Corporate Communications, CHL Group and Chair of AIBC’s Sports Chapter
Sonia Sadiq Gandhi, Director Gandhi Creations, Board Member Multicultural NSW, Australia Day Ambassador 2022
Daren Ganga, Former West Indian Cricketer and Commentator
Jason Gillespie, Former Australian Cricketer and Adelaide Strikers Coach
Marina Go, Chair, Super Netball
Giles Gunesekera, Founder & CEO of Global Impact Initiative
Jodie Hawkins, GM of Commercial & Marketing, Swimming Australia
Rana Hussain, Champions of Change, Program Director of the Sports Coalition
Johann Jayasinha, National Operations & Media - SNNI Australia
Mel Jones OAM, CA Director, Former Australian Cricketer and Cricket Broadcaster
Usman Khawaja, Australian Cricketer & Founder of the Usman Khawaja Foundation
Mary Konstantopoulos, Founder of Ladies Who Leg Spin
Kath Koschel, Former Cricketer, Founder of Kindness Factory Australia and Kindness Factory USA
Adam Liaw, Cook, Writer and Television presenter
Pawan Luthra, CEO of Indian Link Media Group
Morne Morkel, Former South African Paceman
Sheba Nandkeolyar, Founder & CEO MultiConnexions Group
Tanya Oziel, Chief Executive of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, Singapore Business Circle and Founder & Managing Director of SportsConnect
Dipen Rughani, CEO of Newland Global Group
Gönül Serbest, CEO of Global Victoria
Anupam Sharma, Filmmaker and Chair of Australia India Film Council
Ann Sherry AO, Chair of UNICEF Australia
Gurnam Singh, Founder of Australian-Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society
Giri Sivaraman, Chair of Multicultural Australia
Lisa Sthalekar, Former captain of the Australian Women's Cricket Team, Cricket Commentator
Bharat Sundaresan, Cricbuzz Journalist
David Talalla, Former Cricketer for Malaysia and Match Referee
Gus Worland, Triple M Broadcaster and Founder & Chair of Gotcha4Life