Friday, June 14, 2024

Cricket NSW: Cricket Central names picket after first NSW Aboriginal First Class cricketer

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Photo Credit: Cricket NSW

Cricket NSW observed National Reconciliation Week by honouring the memory of a cricketer generally regarded as Australia’s first Aboriginal First Class player, Twopenny (also known as Murrumgunarrimin), among other activities that CNSW conducted during the week as a part of its continued commitment to Reconciliation.

This week, a plaque dedicated to Murrumgunarrimin, a member of the 1868 Aboriginal cricket team to tour England and the first Aboriginal cricketer to represent NSW in 1870, was mounted on the picket fence at Cricket Central.

Believed to have been born in Bathurst in 1845, Murrumgunarrimin played one First Class match against Victoria in 1870. According to records, he died in West Maitland in 1883 from ‘dropsy’.

The skills and strengths of the players who embraced the game at the time are an inspiration to non-Indigenous cricketers and today’s Frist Nations cricketers alike, offering each of us the chance to learn from the past and empower and esteem the 1868 Aboriginal team. The annual National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) brings mob together from all over Australia and beyond with our great game a unifying vehicle for joy and happiness.

Andrew Gordon, external co-chair of the Cricket NSW RAP Working Group and a retired NSW Indigenous team player, said: 

“Cricket NSW has entered a new era to develop its relationship with Aboriginal communities across NSW. The National Reconciliation Week (NRW) theme, Now More Than Ever, correlates to an integral part of the continued development and work being established by Cricket NSW.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to participate, advise and support the creation of Aboriginal programs that are established in the Cricket NSW RAP. These programs exist because of past Aboriginal players, coaches and Cricket NSW staff creating opportunities for Aboriginal people to play and enjoy cricket.  

“In saying this, it’s also a timely reminder for our peak cricketing body in NSW to continually engage our Aboriginal communities, learn about our culture, our history and direct our focus on creating sustainable pathways for Aboriginal people in cricket. The NRW theme, Now More Than Ever, in my opinion is a beginning and we must value that step towards the importance of having Aboriginal people in all facets of our game.” 

Cricket NSW staff also participated in a cricket-specific cultural learning session on May 28 called From Awareness to Allyship, delivered by respected First Nations educator, Rob Hyatt, from the Koori Heritage Trust in Melbourne.

CNSW is continuing its ongoing commitment to Reconciliation, and finalising its second Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, due to be submitted to Reconciliation Australia in June 2024.

You can purchase a picket at Cricket Central to etch your name, club or business exclusively onto a plaque, or choose to feature on the same picket as a current or past player. Find more information HERE


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