Some of the best male and female Indigenous cricketers in New South Wales have been selected for a historic tour of the United Kingdom in June to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 pioneers.

This original group of 13 Aboriginal cricketers became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally and these coming tours will honour that momentous achievement.

The trip will also mark the first tour to the United Kingdom by a female Indigenous team.

Each Aboriginal XI will be led by distinguished allrounders Ashleigh Gardner and Daniel Christian, who both originally hail from NSW and started their careers with the Blues and Lendlease Breakers.

Seven female and five male Indigenous cricketers from New South Wales were selected in the squads.

Among those names include captain of the victorious NSW men’s team at the 2018 National Indigenous Championships in the Northern Territory during early February, Nathan Price, and leading run-scorer for the women’s division of that tournament and pivotal member of the title winning NSW female team, wicketkeeper-batter Sara Darney.

The female squad also includes Sydney Thunder allrounder Hannah Darlington, opening batter Roxanne Van-Veen, Jemma Astley, Dharmini Chauhan, Zoe Fleming and Naomi Woods.

The seven women selected for the tour all featured for the NSW female team who claimed their 11th straight title at the National Indigenous Championships. 

The other NSW male cricketers named include top-order batsman Brendan Smith, fast bowler Sam Doggett and wicketkeeper-batsman Tyran Liddiard, all of whom played vital roles in the success of the NSW men’s team at the National Indigenous Championships. Young leg-spinner for Northern District in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition, Jonte Pattison, also forms part of the touring party.

These players will join former and current Australian players Christian, Gardner, D’Arcy Short and Scott Boland.

Former NSW Blues fast bowler Josh Lalor, now with the Brisbane Heat, is a notable absentee from the tour, due to the expected birth of his first child during the tour.

The teams will tour the UK during the first two weeks of June and each will play under the banner of the ‘2018 Aboriginal XI.’

The 13 male players selected will proudly represent one of the original pioneers on tour by displaying their name on the back of their uniform.

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

Gardner said being able to represent her culture is very special and all the girls selected 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,” Gardner said.

“One hundred and fifty 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.”

The Aboriginal XI uniform incorporates the commemorative artwork titled ‘Walkabout Wickets’ which tells the story of a famous 1866 Boxing Day match between an Aboriginal XI and the Melbourne Cricket Club and the 1868 tour.

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

The men’s and women’s sides will each play against many of the same opposition teams as the pioneers including Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club.

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, all-rounder Bripumyarrimin (King Cole) tragically passed away in the UK and both squads will pay their respects at his place of rest in London.

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.

 

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