Saturday, April 13, 2024

Cricket Australia: Australian men’s team to celebrate First Nations people with Indigenous strip

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Photo Credit: Cricket Australia

The Australian men’s team will celebrate our First Nations people this summer by wearing an Indigenous playing shirt for the entirety of the upcoming Dettol T20 international series against India.

In collaboration with apparel partner ASICS, Cricket Australia commissioned the design that continues the storytelling of the first ever Australian team to tour overseas.

In 1868, a group of Aboriginal cricketers made a three-month journey from Australia to the UK by sea, playing 47 matches at some of the most famous grounds in world cricket.

Kirrae Whurrong woman Aunty Fiona Clarke, great great-grand daughter of Grongarrong (Mosquito) one of the members of the team that played in England in 1868, designed the original Walkabout Wickets artwork that will feature on the front of the playing shirt.

The artwork represents past, present and future Aboriginal cricketers, with the large circle representing Lord’s and the smaller circles signify the team’s various meeting places during that tour.

The shirt was co-designed by Aunty Fiona and Courtney Hagen, Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi woman and Cricket Australia’s Indigenous Engagement Specialist, with the latter speaking of the importance of the design.

“This is a great opportunity for cricket to continue sharing stories about the rich contribution First Nations people have made in the sport, starting with the 1868 Cricket Team as an incredible backbone of all-time sporting history to share and celebrate across the country and globe,” Hagen said.

“Through the design, we wanted to create something that paid tribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cricketers – past, present and future. We’ve incorporated artwork that symbolises strength, guidance and support through a connection to our ancestors, represented through the stars and the resilience of the 1868 team represented strongly.

“It was an honour to be able to co-design this shirt with Aunty Fiona.

“ASICS have contributed to the recognition of First Nations people for a long time and we couldn’t have developed the shirts without their support which we are very grateful for. The shirts will be available through ASICS and Cricket Australia’s merchandise store.”

The release of the shirt marks the relaunch of the Official Cricket Shop which will offer fans apparel and merchandise from  all levels of the game, with the indigenous shirts also available at ASICS online store and with its preferred retailers.

On wearing the shirt, Australian fast-bowler Mitchell Starc said it was an honour to be able to represent Australian cricket’s history through the design.

“It’s fantastic. It’s really exciting to have a chance to play in an Indigenous guernsey for a series against India.

“Courtney is our Indigenous Engagement Specialist at Cricket Australia and Aunty Fiona is a descendant of one of the members of the first Australian Cricket team to go to England in 1868, and they collaborated to design this shirt and we’ve got the Walkabout Wickets artwork on the front there which we’ve seen on a number of shirts.

“The women’s team have worn a similar artwork to our one, the Test team have worn the  logo on our collars a few times and the WBBL teams have all got it on their guernseys this year so it’s really exciting  and to have the chance as a men’s team to wear our first Indigenous jersey.

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