Christian, Gardner to lead squads to UK

The best Aboriginal cricketers in Australia to commemorate 1868 cricketers with a tour of the UK in June

Martin Smith

10 April 2018, 09:37 AM AEST

Christian, Gardner to lead Aboriginal XI in the UK

Star allrounders Daniel Christian and Ash Gardner will lead men's and women's Aboriginal XI squads on a commemorative tour of England in June to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured the UK.

The tour will feature a total of nine matches against Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and will be played at some of the grounds that hosted the original team of Aboriginal pioneers 150 years ago.

The 1868 side, which also famously played a Boxing Day clash at the MCG in 1866, became the first Australian team in any sport to tour internationally when they played 47 matches throughout England across a six-month period.

Boxing Day 1866: Aboriginal XI v MCC, 150-year anniversary

In a special tribute to those pioneering cricketers, each member of the 2018 men's team have been linked to a 1868 player and will sport the name of that player on the back of their uniform.

The men's team will open the tour against the MCC at the picturesque Arundel Castle while the highlight of the campaign will be a double header at The Oval on June 7.

Christian will lead a strong men's teams that includes KFC BBL star D'Arcy Short, Victoria fast bowler Scott Boland and Queensland quick Brendan Doggett, who was a key player in the Bulls recent JLT Sheffield Shield triumph. Brisbane Heat fast bowler Josh Lalor will stay at home in Australia for the birth of his first child.

In the women's squad, Southern Stars allrounder Gardner will lead a young squad with an average age of 20 featuring Sydney Sixers allrounder Haylee Hoffmeister and Sydney Thunder teenager Hannah Darlington.

Cricket Australia also unveiled the teams' uniforms, which incorporates the commemorative artwork titled 'Walkabout Wickets' designed by Aunty Fiona Clarke. He great-great-grandfather Grongarrong (Mosquito) was one of the stars of the 1868 team.

Women's captain Ash Gardner
Women's captain Ash Gardner

Boland, who played 17 limited-overs internationals for Australia in 2016, said he's excited to learn more about the tour and his culture having only recently discovered his Indigenous roots.

"I look forward to learning more about Indigenous culture and more about what happened during the 1868 tour," Boland said.

"Going over there with my brother (fellow fast bowler Nick) 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."

Gardner said leading the tour, the first ever by an Indigenous women's team to the UK, was a great honour.

"Being able to represent my culture is really special and all the girls are really excited to do that too," she said.

"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."

2018 ABORIGINAL XI TOUR OF THE UK

SQUADS

Men's (1868 player represented in brackets): Dan Christian (c) (Unaarrimin/Johnny Mullagh), Nick Boland (Grongarrong/Mosquito), Scott Boland (Yellanach/Johnny Cuzens), Brendan Doggett (Murrumgunarriman/Twopenny), Sam Doggett (Pripumuarraman/Charley Dumas), Damon Egan (Jumgumjenanuke/Dick-A-Dick), Tyran Liddiard (Bullchanach/Bullocky), Jonte Pattison (Brimbunyah/Redcap), Nathan Price (Arrahmunyarrimun/Peter), D’arcy Short (Bonnibarngeet/Tiger), Brendan Smith (Lytejerbillijun/Jim Crow), Rex Strickland (Ballrinjarrimin/Sundown), Dane Ugle (Bripumyarrimin/King Cole). Coach: Jeffrey Cook

Women's: 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. Coach: Shelley Nitschke

Australia's first Indigenous Test cricketer

FIXTURES

Men's 5th June – Aboriginal XI v Marylebone CC at Arundel Castle 7th June – Aboriginal XI v Surrey at The Oval 8th June – Aboriginal XI v Sussex at the First Central County Ground 10th June – Aboriginal XI v Derbyshire at the County Ground 12th June – Aboriginal XI v Nottinghamshire at Loughborough

Women's 7th June – Aboriginal XI v Surrey at The Oval 8th June – Aboriginal XI v Sussex at the First Central County Ground 10th June – Aboriginal XI v National Cricket Conference at the County Ground 12th June – Aboriginal XI v ECB Academy at Loughborough