Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the 4th bi-annual launch of the Australian Lawyers Cricket Council overseas squad, this time to tour India between 12 – 22 October 2013.
This is not so much a speech as a recognition of the many persons, whose contributions have led to this occasion.
The first group of people I must acknowledge are the councillors of the Australian Lawyers Cricket Council, to whom such a debt of gratitude is owed, I must mention them by name.
In no particular order I start with Troy Flaherty. Troy was with us, when we started out in Hyderabad in 2007. Troy is my idea of the ideal committee man; he is a faithful helper; always efficient; and always prepared to volunteer to do more work. I have a lot of people to acknowledge today. I ask that you reserve any applause until I conclude introducing these people to you.
I also wish to acknowledge Ashley Tiplady, another one of our councillors. Ashley is the heart and soul of the Queensland commitment to this organisation. Ashley was our captain in Barbados in 2011. As a direct result of Ashley’s efforts, the Queensland contingent is prodigious in number and talent.
I also wish to mention Karl Prince, our secretary. He has been part of our organisation since we were in Hyderabad in 2007. He was our victorious captain in England 2009; he had the wisdom to assist with his wife’s childbirth issues in 2011; and he is returning as our captain in 2013.
I also wish to acknowledge the efforts of Scott Alden, our Vice President. Scott was also in Hyderabad in 2007 and it was Scott’s bright idea for us to partner with LexisNexis. It was a revelation to me, when Scott first suggested that such a liaison might be available and when he negotiated a 4 year sponsorship deal for $100,000, with a 4 year option, I was truly taught a new lesson.
Now would be a good time to mention our friends at LexisNexis, which is undoubtedly the gold standard of legal publishing in Australia. LexisNexis reaches 62% of the Australian legal market everyday. It is obviously an excellent corporate citizen; it has recently celebrated its centenary of legal publishing in Australia; we are deeply grateful for its sponsorship to date, because the ALCC would not be what it is today, if it was not for Scott introducing us to them and Dr Marc Peter having the wisdom and foresight to embrace us. That might be an appropriate point to acknowledge our friends at LexisNexis as our principal sponsor. Thank you very much, LexisNexis.
Returning to my theme of acknowledging the important councillors on the ALCC, last, but by no means least, I wish to acknowledge the stellar contribution by Ron Heinrich. When Ron joined TressCox on 14 February 1966, it was a 4-man partnership in a small office in one location in Sydney. After more than 40 years as a partner at TressCox, that firm now has more than 40 partners, at a variety of national offices throughout Australia. Clearly Ron is the right sort of man to be associated with, if you are trying to grow an organisation. At the risk of descending into hagiography, I observe that during his long and very successful career, Ron has also found the time to be the President of the Law Society of NSW, the Law Council of Australia and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and in the Australia Day honour’s list for 2013 he was invested AM for services to law and the community. In addition to all of that he is one of the fathers of the international tournament. Now would be a good time for us all to recognise the Australian Lawyers Cricket Councillors. Please join me in thanking them.
In addition to my colleagues in the ALCC, I also wish to thank the many distinguished guests who are here today. We all know that you are busy people, and the donation of your time, if only to come to this lunch today, is a measure of your respect for us and we are very grateful for your presence.
I wish to acknowledge the many chiefs of the New South Wales legal framework, who have found time in their diary to be with us today. Again, in no particular order, we have the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Lloyd Babb SC. We also have Mr Phillip Boulten SC, the President of the Bar Association of New South Wales.
We have the chief solicitor, in the form of Mr John Dobson, the President of the Law Society of New South Wales and his CEO, Mr Michael Tidball.
We also have the chief elected legal officer of New South Wales in the form of the Attorney General, the Hon Greg Smith SC MLA and, again last but by no means least, we have the Hon the Chief Justice, Mr Tom Bathurst.
Now, that is a lot of chiefs in the one room at one time! But that is OK, there are also a lot of Indians!! We are very grateful to have his Excellency, the Indian Consul General to Australia, Mr Arun Kumar Goel, and we also have the President of the Indian Advocates Cricket Association, Mr Ramamurthi Santhanakrishnan. You will also notice that 2 of the young cricketers in our midst would appear to be of sub-continental ethnic extraction and having selected them, having seen them play, and having examined their cricketing CV’s, I assure you that they are part of the touring party on the ground of merit only and not pursuant to any misguided, affirmative action proposition.
Finally, I wish to return to my theme of the fathers of the tournament. But to give you the proper picture of some of those men’s involvement, I will temporarily drop into the vernacular. Picture if you will the annual meeting of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, this time in Nairobi, in late 2007. A meeting was held between Santhan and Ron, during which they spoke words to the following effect:
Santhan said: “Ron I think we should have cricket tournament”.
Santhan: “I think we should have it in India”.
Santhan: “I come from Hyderabad. I think we should have it in Hyderabad”
Ron: “Ahuh. What do you want me to do?”
Santhan: “Give it your support as the President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. I will do the rest”
Santhan: “India will pay for everything; all that you and the other teams have to do is to pay for your airfare”
Ron: “Now you’re talking. When do you propose to have this tournament”
Santhan: “In about 3 months. Please bring a team”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how, the International Lawyers Cricket World Cup came into existence.
Now some of you people have come a long way today. It is a fair old effort to waddle down the hill from Phillip Street and at least one of you has come from as far away as Macquarie Street! His Excellency has come from Yarralumla. But Santhan has come all the way from New Delhi and the President of the Barristers of England and Wales Cricket Club, Mr Robert Percival QC, has come all the way from London, just to attend this lunch! Now I know that success has many fathers, but Bob was the architect behind the second tournament, which was integral to Santhan’s good idea being continued elsewhere. If your name is not Ron Heinrich, Santhan Krishnan or Bob Percival, please be upstanding. I would like you to raise your glass to toast them: the Fathers of the International Tournament: Ron; Santhan; and Bob.
Finally, I wish to thank our patron. When the Australian Lawyers Cricket Council kicked off, we wrote to the Hon JD Heydon AC, to invite him to be our patron. He was then at the significantly elevated position of being a judge of the High Court of Australia. It was obviously a matter of some weight, as to whether he might support an organisation such as this, while in that position, but nevertheless Dyson did. His support has been genuine; it has been consistent; we are grateful for it in the past; and we look forward to a long and happy future with you together. Please hang on for as long as can. No Australian lawyer has come to our luncheon today, hoping to listen to me and I am sure that all of us have come, hoping to listen to you. Thank you for your patronage and once again thank you ladies and gentlemen for your attendance today.
Australian Lawyers' Cricket Council
11 September 2013