He played with Chandra, Pras and Vishy and interviewed Richie, Ricky and Lee


Richie & Raj

Raj Natrajan interviewing Ritchie Benaud  

Kersi Meher-Homji interviews engineer / journalist  Raj Natarajan

Watching cricket in the SCG Press Box is both a pleasure and an experience, especially watching it with a current cricket photo journalist and a cricketer who had played with EAS Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and GR Viswanath in Chennai in 1970s.

He is  Raj Natarajan  who also attends Press Conferences at the end of the day carrying a camera on a tripod.

Former President of the United Indian Association, the peak Indian Community Body between 2006 and 2008 in Sydney, he is currently the President of India Sports Club which is part of Cricket NSW.

Raj is talented in three fields; an off-spinner and an opening batsman in 1970s at district  level in India, an electrical engineer who migrated to Australia in 1981 and a television producer of  OzIndian  on TVS digital channel 44 which is aired on Wednesdays (5pm), Thursdays (7.30am) and Saturdays (12.30pm) ”“ the Thursday and Saturday programmes are repeats.

Raj & Lee s









Raj with Brett Lee

Raj received his Engineering degree in 1971 and played cricket for National Institute of Engineering in the University of Mysore as an opening batsman and an off-spinner along with the legendary Prasanna.

Recalls Raj, “First I was a medium-pacer but Prasanna told me: ”˜Have you seen your hand in the mirror? You must bowl off-spin.’ So I switched to off-spin.”

After securing his degree in Engineering, Raj got a job in Tata Consulting Engineers. He played for YMCA in Bangalore. “Vishy was then representing State Bank of India, Chandra and Roger Binny (father of Stuart who is now in Australia) for Syndicate Bank. I played for YMCA for ten years and took a number of 5-fers (five wickets in an innings).”

His victims included Roger Binny, Jayaprakash (who played for Karnataka,  South Zone and was a test umpire for a number of years along with former Test spinner Srini Venkataraghavan) and the great Vishwanath. Raj also scored two centuries when opening batting for YMCA.

In early 1980s he migrated to Nairobi, Kenya and played for Nairobi Gymkhana. He then came to Sydney in 1988 and got a job with Transfield. “I worked there for five years and then started my own business in engineering.”

Raj & sunil s









Raj with Sunil Gavaskar

An all-rounder, Raj has combined business and cricket journalism with finesse down under. He has interviewed icons of Australian cricket Richie Benaud, Mark Taylor, Dean Jones, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee among many others. “I found Benaud the best interviewee. He is very friendly and co-operative. So is Mark Taylor.”

Your inspiration?

“My grandfather GV Iyyer is my main inspiration. He produced about 30 movies, some of them won awards including the President’s Award. He produced the first Sanskrit movie in 2005, a prize-winner. That’s why I have the passion for TV production. But it is difficult to get a breakthrough.

“I got in TV production in 2006 and am one of the Board members of TVS (Television Sydney) digital Channel 44. This is my ninth year.”

Your moment to remember?

“In 2013 I captained the Indian Community XI  against NSW Parliamentarians at Parramatta. The Indian Community XI scored 200 runs in 25 overs and restricted the Parliamentarians to 160 and won the match. I was successful as a bowler.”

Any disappointments?

“I was offered an exciting assignment to go to India as a radio commentator along with the famous Jim Maxwell of ABC when the Australian team under Michael Clarke toured India in 2012-13. But both Jim and I were not granted the visa by India. It was very disappointing. Ridiculous.”

However, Raj Natarajan’s achievements down under outweigh this one disappointment.


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