Stroke hit for six

January 23, 2019 BY

Lions verses Raiders: Ballarat’s Indian cricket team will play the Rest of Ballarat team in February as part of Friends of India Network’s annual fundraising. Photo: SUPPLIED.

A TWENTY20 cricket match will be played at Ballarat Grammar on Saturday, 2 February to raise funds for stroke patients and their affected families.

The Ballarat Indians – the Lions – will play the Rest of Ballarat team – the Raiders – from 11:30am, belatedly celebrating India’s Republic Day and Australia Day that share a date, January 26.

A double wicket championship will run at 8am before the main match. The community is encouraged to put together their own teams and enter online.

An initiative of the Friends of India Network – and this year, in collaboration with the Ballarat Health Foundation – the annual fundraiser also aims to strengthen ties and trust within Ballarat.

FIN founder and president, Dr Sanjay Sharma’s vision and mission is to integrate communities and build a “Team Ballarat” atmosphere.

“The two nations have one obsession – cricket,” he said, and the network is looking forward to Ballarat families uniting, all with a love for the sport.

There will be food trucks and entertainment for the community to enjoy while they relax and watch the sportsmanship at play.

“The cricket will be followed by a dinner – catered by Peter Ford – and presentation evening at Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute,” Dr Sharma said.

“We anticipate more than 150 guests at the gala comprising of many eminent people and professionals from Ballarat and Melbourne.”

Guests are encouraged to start arriving at 6.30pm for a 7pm start, to enjoy a program including key note addresses, live music and entertainment.

Cricket memorabilia will be amongst many artefacts auctioned on the night.

But, importantly, FIN’s focus on stroke this year has been for a reason. It came after Dr Sharma’s mother visited Ballarat from India.

While she slept, she experienced a stroke, which wasn’t discovered until five hours later.

Having been touched so closely by the disease, Dr Sharma was inspired to direct FIN’s fundraising efforts towards prevention of stroke and support for those affected.

“It opened my eyes to all the figures,” Dr Sharma said.

“Stroke is known to affect one in six Australians in their life time. It kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer. Unfortunately, there is not that much funding and awareness.”

FIN aims to bring together Ballarat residents of Indian origin with the rest of the local community, to put back into the city together.

Last year’s fundraiser in conjunction with Ballarat Base Hospital raised $9000 for family violence support and prevention.

You can enter a team into the Double Wicket championship or buy gala tickets at

Supporters can come along to watch both cricket matches for a gold coin donation on entry.

Thank you for supporting local journalism!