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Aboriginal XI Squads To Commemorate 1868 Pioneers With UK Tour

13 April 2018

Congratulations to our Hurricanes stars Dan Christian and D'Arcy Short.

Cricket Australia has announced the squads, schedule, community activities and uniform for an historic tour of the UK for the nation’s best Indigenous players.

Women’s and men’s squads will tour the UK for the first two weeks of June, with both to play under the banner of the ‘2018 Aboriginal XI.’

The event will commemorate 150 years since an Aboriginal cricket team became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.

Ashleigh Gardner and Hobart Hurricanes star all-rounder Dan Christian will captain their respective sides against several of the same opposition from the original tour.

Hurricanes Indigenous opening batting juggernaut, BBL Series record runs holder and BBL07 Player Of The Tournament D'Arcy Short was also selected.

For the women's squad, highly talented 17-year-old Tasmanian all-rounder (210 club matches, 4207 runs, 37 wickets, 119 high score) Emma Manix-Geeves from the New Town Cricket Club was chosen, being part of the Palawa Mob.

Their UK schedule includes matches against Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

Venues used for fixtures against Surrey, Sussex and Derbyshire will be the same as those used in 1868 including a double-header at The Oval.

In 1868, 13 Aboriginal players made the trip to the UK. In 2018, the 13 male players travelling will proudly represent one of those pioneers each on tour by displaying their name on the back of their uniform.

Skipper Dan Christian from the Wiradjuri Mob of Victoria will represent 1868 player Unaarrimin (Johnny Mullagh) while D'Arcy Short will represent Bonnibarngeet (Tiger) from Western Australia's Mitakoodi Mob.

The female squad will wear their own names on their back, being pioneers as the first female Indigenous team to tour the UK.

Speaking on captaining the women’s Aboriginal XI Ashleigh Gardner said:

“150 years on to be captain is such an honour, and getting the opportunity to lead the girls in a country I have recently played in - hopefully, I can pass on some of the things I learnt when I was over there."

“Being able to represent my culture is really special and all the girls are really excited to do that too.

"They all understand this is a big moment in their careers - and for me to be able to captain a team that is inexperienced in terms of international tours, but one that is ready for that competition, is a big moment in my career as well.”

Speaking about what he hopes to achieve, in addition to his on-field performances, men’s Aboriginal XI fast bowler Scott Boland said:

“I look forward to learning more about Indigenous culture and more about what happened during the 1868 tour."

“Going over there with my brother (also in the team) will be great as we can learn a lot together about the story from some of the older guys and some of the coaches as well.”

The uniform incorporates the commemorative artwork titled Walkabout Wickets which tells the story of both the 1866 Boxing Day match and the 1868 tour.

It was designed by Aunty Fiona Clarke who is the great-great-granddaughter of Grongarrong (Mosquito), who was one of the stars of the 1868 team.

In addition to the matches, players will engage in activities pre-tour and in the UK to further connect with the significance of the 1868 events, as they take over the reigns as story tellers to future generations of Indigenous cricketers.

A selection of players will travel to Victoria’s West Wimmera region to meet with ancestors and visit key sites significant to the 1868 team.

Some of these include training and match locations, Johnny Mullagh Oval, Johnny Mullagh’s grave and the Harrow Discovery Centre.

On tour, teams will visit a temporary display at the MCC Museum at Lords that explores the history of the 1868 tour.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Exeter is lending Aboriginal artefacts, newly identified from the 1868 cricket tour to the UK, for display at Lord’s throughout the 2018 season.

In 1868, all-rounder Bripumyarrimin (King Cole) tragically passed away in the UK. Both squads will also visit his place of rest in London to pay their respects.

Two strong squads have been assembled, including four players who currently or have previously represented Australia – Dan Christian, Gardner, D’Arcy Short and Boland - and a further six players on WBBL, BBL or State contracts last season.

One noticeable absentee from the men’s squad is Brisbane Heat fast bowler Josh Lalor who is expecting the birth of his first child during the tour.

The tour is proudly supported by the Commonwealth Bank who are the Principal Partner of Cricket Australia’s A Sport for All Program.

The official hashtag of the 2018 Aboriginal XI Tour to the UK is #walkaboutwickets

SQUADS:

2018 Aboriginal XI – Men

Name

Mob

State

1868 Player Representing

Dan Christian (C)

WIRADJURI

VIC

UNAARRIMIN (JOHNNY MULLAGH)

Nick Boland

GULIGAN

VIC

GRONGARRONG (MOSQUITO)

Scott Boland

GULIGAN

VIC

YELLANACH (JOHNNY CUZENS)

Brendan Doggett

WORIMI

QLD

MURRUMGUNARRIMAN (TWOPENNY)

Sam Doggett

WORIMI

NSW

PRIPUMUARRAMAN (CHARLEY DUMAS)

Damon Egan

GUNDITJMARA

VIC

JUMGUMJENANUKE (DICK-A-DICK)

Tyran Liddiard

BIRIPI

NSW

BULLCHANACH (BULLOCKY)

Jonte Pattison

WIRADJURI

NSW

BRIMBUNYAH (REDCAP)

Nathan Price

KAMILAROI

NSW

ARRAHMUNYARRIMUN (PETER)

D’Arcy Short

MITAKOODI

WA

BONNIBARNGEET (TIGER)

Brendan Smith

DHUNGUTTI

NSW

LYTEJERBILLIJUN (JIM CROW)

Rex Strickland

WONNARUA

WA

BALLRINJARRIMIN (SUNDOWN)

Dane Ugle

NYOONGAR / BALLARDONG

WA

BRIPUMYARRIMIN (KING COLE)

Coach – Jeffrey Cook (KAMILAROI)

2018 Aboriginal XI - Women

Name

Mob

State

Ashleigh Gardner (C)

MURWARI

SA

Jemma Astley

WANARUA

NSW

Dharmini Chauhan

WIRADJURI

NSW

Christina Coulson

QLD

Hannah Darlington

KAMILAROI

NSW

Sara Darney

WIRADJURI

NSW

Zoe Fleming

KAMILAROI

NSW

Haylee Hoffmeister

PALAWA

WA

Emma Manix-Geeves

PALAWA

TAS

Sally Moylan

WIRADJURI

ACT

Natalie Plane

KAMILAROI

VIC

Roxanne Van Veen

GUNDUNGURRA

NSW

Naomi Woods

KAMILAROI

NSW

Coach – Shelley Nitschke

FIXTURES:

Aboriginal XI Men

5th June – Aboriginal XI v Marylebone CC @ Arundel Castle

7th June – Aboriginal XI v Surrey @ The Kia Oval

8th June – Aboriginal XI v Sussex @ The First Central County Ground

10th June – Aboriginal XI v Derbyshire @ 3aaa County Ground

12th June – Aboriginal XI v Nottinghamshire @ Loughborough

Aboriginal XI Women

7th June – Aboriginal XI v Surrey @ The Kia Oval

8th June – Aboriginal XI v Sussex @ The First Central County Ground

10th June – Aboriginal XI v National Cricket Conference @ 3aaa County Ground

12th June – Aboriginal XI v ECB Academy @ Loughborough

FAST FACTS:

  • 54,346 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders participated in cricket in the 2016-17 cricket season.

    That's a 47% increase on 2015-16 and an increase of over 45,000 participants since 2013-14.

  • The average age of the men’s 2018 Aboriginal XI is 24.92
  • The average age of the women’s 2018 Aboriginal XI is 20.53
  • There are 6 Indigenous State contracted players
  • There are 7 Indigenous BBL and WBBL contracted players.