Aussies unveil Indigenous shirt for India T20s

Australia's men's team to wear an Indigenous shirt for the first time in the T20 series against India early next month

The Australian men's cricket team will follow the lead of the national women's side and wear an Indigenous shirt for their upcoming Dettol T20 series against India.

Cricket Australia today unveiled the design, a collaboration between manufacturer ASICS and two Indigenous women, Aunty Fiona Clarke and Courtney Hagen, who have been integral to the sport's recent efforts to better recognise and encourage the involvement of Indigenous Australians in cricket.

Clarke, a Kirrae Whurrong woman, is a direct descendent of legendary cricketer 'Mosquito' Couzens (known as Grongarrong), one of the Aboriginal players who toured England in 1868 as part of the first sporting team from Australia to play abroad.

Clarke's artwork Walkabout Wickets, which was unveiled in 2016 and featured on the collars of the Aussie Test shirts during last year’s Ashes, features prominently in the design of the T20 shirt.

Image Id: 6C4F9C393C134472AAEF487F96BA5EA5

Australia's women's side first wore an Indigenous shirt of their own in a match against England earlier this year and have been proactive in addressing issues of race in their sport.

The Aussie women's team also participated in a barefoot circle before the England game and again against New Zealand last month – a ceremony that has continued into this year's Rebel WBBL season - while some Big Bash teams and players have also acknowledged the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee before matches.

"Last year as a squad we started to think about how we wanted to represent (Indigenous culture) and to participate in one of the first Indigenous rounds in cricket from an international perspective (in January) was really special," Australia's vice-captain Rachael Haynes told cricket.com.au in September.

"We want to continue those themes but we also want to have more purpose around what we do. So it's not one offs, we want to do things throughout the year and make it a learning experience."

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Discussions are ongoing between CA and the Aussie men's team regarding how they can recognise the BLM movement and issues of race this season. Australia's male players have been spread out in various parts of the world since the end of their UK tour in September and won't come together as a group again until later this month, just before the home summer begins.

Despite the pioneering efforts of the 1868 team, who made a perilous journey by ship to the UK and played 47 matches at venues like Lord's and The Oval, only four Indigenous men and two Indigenous women have played cricket for Australia since the first Test match in 1877.

Last month, Indigenous activist Tamika Sadler said she'd long viewed cricket in Australia as a "white privileged sport".

Image Id: 9E4777FEC97647E7995364C7B672A311 Image Caption: A closer look at Walkabout Wickets

"That's a really good question, I guess no," Sadler said on an episode of Cricket Connecting Country when asked if she views cricket as an inclusive sport.

"As a young person growing up in Australia, we're supposed to be so multicultural and multifaceted, why is there very few people of coloured faces that are playing the sport?"

Hagen, a Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi woman and Cricket Australia's Indigenous Engagement Specialist, said the shirt was about recognising the remarkable story of the 1868 side and welcoming current and future generations of Indigenous Australians to cricket.

"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," she said.

Image Id: 49D48B325D9D49E0BDDFC5E547436FC8 Image Caption: Starc shows off the new Indigenous shirt

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc said he was excited that the men's team, like the women's team and Big Bash clubs before them, has a unique Indigenous shirt to wear in matches.

"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 to have the chance as a men's team to wear our first Indigenous jersey," he said.

Fans are able to purchase a replica of the T20 Indigenous kit via the new-look Official Cricket Shop

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India Tour of Australia 2020-21

Australia ODI & T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey , Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.

India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan

Australia Test squad: TBA

India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c) (first Test only), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj

Dettol ODI Series v India

First ODI: November 27, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT

Second ODI: November 29, SCG, 2.40pm AEDT

Third ODI: December 2, Manuka Oval, 2.40pm AEDT

Dettol T20 INTL Series v India

First T20: December 4, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm AEDT

Second T20: December 6, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT

Third T20: December 8, SCG, 7.10pm AEDT

Tour matches

Australia A v India A, December 6-8, Drummoyne Oval

Australia A v Indians, December 11-13, SCG (day-night)

Vodafone Test Series v India

First Test: December 17-21, Adelaide Oval, 3pm AEDT (day-night)

Second Test: December 26-30, MCG, 10.30am AEDT

Third Test: January 7-11, SCG, 10.30am AEDT

Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT

*The matches and travel remain subject to any relevant government restrictions or requirements.