By: Shubham Ghosh
The board of Cricket Victoria, which governs the sport in the Australian province of Victoria, appointed Harish Rao as a non-executive director on March 14. He is believed to be the first Indian to have been appointed to the board in its nearly 150-year history.
Rao, who is the face of Sundaram Finance Group in Australia, an India-based financial services conglomerate, since 2002, is currently serving as the chair of its advisory board. He is also the executive director of the Australia India Chamber of Commerce Limited, Australia’s leading bilateral business chamber of commerce, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Involved in the Australia-India business space for more than two decades, Rao thanked the cricket board over his appointment on Twitter, saying, “Delighted to join the Board of @cricketvictoria thank you for the opportunity.”
Rao, who hails from Chennai in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, grew up in Melbourne where he went to Melbourne Grammar School before completing higher education at the Australian National University and Monash University, his LinkedIn profile added.
He did MBA in finance and a graduate certificate in Asian Business from Monash University. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Rao also consults with a number of other firms in the Australia-India corridor on bilateral market entry opportunities and has led several business delegations to the South Asian nation, Cricket Victoria said.
Welcoming Rao’s appointment, Ross Hepburn, Cricket Victoria chair, said, “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Harish at Cricket Victoria. Harish has extensive global business expertise, built on the strong cultural ties shared between our nations.”
“In addition to his success in the business sector, Mr Rao has been involved in a range of global health, arts and philanthropy projects during his career. We look forward to having Mr Rao’s expertise in supporting our growth as an organisation.”
Rao said cricket holds a special place in the hearts of many Victorians and it was a privilege to work with Cricket Victoria and drive the game’s growth in Australia.
He also looked forward to working together with representatives from across Victorian cricket in the years ahead.
Rao’s appointment takes effect on May 22 or earlier, Cricket Victoria said.
Victoria has produced some of the finest cricketers who have gone on to play for Australia, including legendary spinner Shane Warne.