Iranian-origin Aussie new CA 'community engagement' manager to dispose 'pale, stale, male' image

Sydney, June 5 (ANI): After making Asian-origin cricketers Fawad Ahmed and Gurinder Sandhu as its new faces of Australian cricket's million-dollar drive towards multiculturalism, Cricket Australia (CA) has now appointed Iranian-origin Sam Almaliki as its new senior manager for community engagement to dispose of its 'pale, male and stale' image.

The 24-year-old Almaliki, who is central to CA's ambition to produce the next production line of elite players from non-traditional cricket backgrounds, had spent eight months as a boy inside a Sydney detention centre after his parents and two brothers fled their home in raq in 1997, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Stating that he had seen his first cricket game being played by Tamil detainees at the centre, Almaliki said that later he was encouraged to pursue an interest in cricket by his school teacher in Australia after they had settled.

Almaliki, whose job in CA will be to build on the emerging status of Ahmed and Indian-origin teenage New South Wales (NSW) bowler Sandhu, said that he fell in love with the game after watching Steve Waugh and Australia's tour of the West Indies in 1999.

The report further said that Almaliki's age should not be a disadvantage, adding that he had founded the Sydney Junior Winter Cricket Association, with Test captain Michael Clarke as one of the patrons, when he was only 15.

According to the report, Almaliki has also been the chair of the NSW Multicultural Youth Network, a commissioner on the NSW Community Relations Commission and, during his previous posting at Cricket NSW, devised Australian cricket's first multicultural engagement strategy.

CA had announced that it would use part of its 590 million dollars from new deals with channels Nine and Ten to accelerate its mission to attract more Australians of non-English-speaking backgrounds to the game, as well as more women and girls, indigenous Australians and people with a disability. (ANI)

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