Adam Gilchrist presents latest Wollongong university scholarship for Indian cricketer

24/11/15 Category: Blog, News Posted by:

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Photo: Former Australian cricketer and University of Wollongong ambassador Adam Gilchrist with 2016 UOW Bradman scholarship recipient Ajay Dalal. (ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)

Australian cricket great and University of Wollongong (UOW) ambassador Adam Gilchrist was in the Illawarra today to present Indian student Ajay Dalal with the third annual UOW Bradman scholarship.

The scholarship provides a valuable opportunity for Indian students to pursue their love of cricket, while honing their academic skills at one of Australia’s top universities.

“In my experience in visiting India, it can be challenging to pursue a sporting career and have that support in case you don’t achieve all you want to in sport,” Gilchrist said.

“In India, it’s very welcomed that a young student can come and study at a world class facility and then play high grade cricket.

“It’s very exciting for Ajay.”

The UOW Bradman Scholarship was launched in 2012 and is open to men and women who have completed secondary school and demonstrate strong academic, sporting, personal and social skills.

It means a lot to me that someone like Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] is giving me such a big award

Ajay Dalal, UOW Bradman scholarship recipient

Dalal is a post-graduate student who first studied technology in India, and is now completing a Masters of Business at the university’s Sydney Business School.

“It’s a big honour for me,” he said.

“I never think in life I’ll get any award, and I’ve worked so hard for this game [of cricket], but the game has never given anything back to me.

“This is the first occasion the game has given me so much, so it means a lot for me.

“If I work hard on my game, improve my skills and then I can play a higher level, it will give me a boost.”

Dalal said India had only recently started giving scholarships to young cricketers wanting to dedicate equal amounts of time to sport and study, and it was something he had missed out on.

Receiving the UOW Bradman scholarship for 2016 was made extra special when one of his cricketing idols was there to congratulate him.

Gilchrist played for Kings XI Punjab — Dalal’s local team in the Indian Premier League — from 2011-2013.

“I saw Gilly a lot of times at Mohali and he developed some new players who are playing for India now,” Dalal said.

“It means a lot to me that someone like Gilly is giving me such a big award.”

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