Photo Credit: Cricket NSW
The cricket family and wider community is saddened by the passing overnight of former Cricket NSW chairman and Life Member Dr Gorur ‘Harry’ Harinath OAM.
Dr Harinath came to Australia from Hyderabad in 1971 and began work at the Mercy Hospital in Tasmania with barely a dollar to his name, before forging a highly successful medical career and making a seismic contribution to cricket.
After a year in the Apple Isle, Harinath built a friendship with former Pakistani batsman Sadiq Mohammad and was recruited to play for his cricket team, thus beginning a five-decade long connection to the game in this country.
In 1977, Dr Harinath joined Balmain Cricket Club (now Sydney Cricket Club) as their team doctor at the invitation of then Australian Cricket Board chairman Fred Bennett. It wasn’t long before Dr Harinath’s passion and administrative skills led to him to the club’s presidency – a role he held for more than 30 years.
Then in May of 2008, Dr Harinath was elected as the first man of Indian origin to chair Cricket NSW, a position he held for five years. During that time, Dr Harinath oversaw multi-million-dollar funding grants from the state and federal governments, including a $10 million project to revamp Drummoyne Oval (Sydney Cricket Club’s home), a new $30m playing and training facility at Blacktown, and more millions to assist clubs throughout the state.
Along with his services to Cricket NSW, Dr Harinath was also a director of the Cricket Australia board, his massive contribution recognised in 2009 when he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to cricket and the community. He was bestowed with Life Membership of Cricket NSW in 2010.
Away from cricket, Dr Harinath was extended the honour of being the first ‘Chairperson Emeritus’ appointed to the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board after serving for eight years in the role of Chairperson of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board
Dr Harinath was also awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Medal) by the President of India in 2017, the highest honour conferred to Indians living overseas.
Cricket NSW CEO, Lee Germon, said Dr Harinath’s contribution to cricket, medicine and multiculturalism in Australia was immeasurable.
“We are very saddened to hear of the passing of Dr Gorur Harinath,” Germon said.
“We knew him as ‘Dr Harry’ and he was an inspiration to all.
“His commitment to improving the lives of people through cricket, to ensuring the game was a welcome place for all, regardless of race, gender or age was ahead of its time.
“Alongside his impact on cricket, Dr Harry made a considerable contribution to South Asian communities in NSW and was highly regarded for his work as a doctor.
“Our deepest condolences rest with his family and friends. He will not be forgotten.”
Former Chairman of the Sydney Cricket Club and long-time friend, Neil Maxwell, said Dr Harinath’s passing was a sad day for all.
“The club is devastated to learn of Harry’s passing,” Maxwell said.
“A beautiful man who helped anyone and everyone, both through his medical practice and his beloved ‘Tigers’ cricket club.
“So many people owe a great deal to him, his quiet nature had the ability to ‘move mountains’. He will be sorely missed.”