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Aboriginal tour to return to Derbyshire 150 years on

Tuesday 10th April 2018
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Aboriginal XI squads representing Cricket Australia will return to Derbyshire 150 years after their pioneering counterparts became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally in 1868.

Two Twenty20 matches, seeing men’s and women’s Aboriginal squads take on Derbyshire representatives, will come to The 3aaa County Ground in June.

The touring Aboriginals played a South Derbyshire XI in fixture in Derby, as part of the original tour which took place between May and October in 1868.

Ashleigh Gardner and Dan Christian will lead the respective sides against several of the same opposition from the original tour. The schedule includes matches against Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

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. 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 on field performance, 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 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), 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.

2018 Aboriginal XI – Men
Dan Christian (C), Nick Boland, Scott Boland, Brendan Doggett, Sam Doggett, Damon Egan, Tyran Liddiard, Jonte Pattison, Nathan Price, D’Arcy Short, Brendan Smith, Rex Strickland, Dane Ugle, Jeffrey Cook (coach).

2018 Aboriginal XI – Women
Ashleigh Gardner (C), Jemma Astley, Dharmini Chauhan, Christina Coulson, Hannah Darlington, Sara Darney, Zoe Fleming, Haylee Hoffmeister, Emma Manix-Geeves, Sally Moylan, Natalie Plane, Roxanne Van Veen, Naomi Woods, Shelley Nitschke (coach).

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 (3pm start)
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 (11am start)
12th June – Aboriginal XI v ECB Academy @ Loughborough

Entry will be free for both fixtures. For more details, please call 01332 388 101.

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