CommBank T20Is v New Zealand
Aussie players commit to standing against racism
Australia and New Zealand will take a stand against global racism and Aboriginal deaths in custody before Saturday’s first T20I at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field
25 September 2020, 11:08 AM AEST
Rachael Haynes says the Australian women’s team will not leave it to Ashleigh Gardner alone to shoulder the burden of speaking out against prejudice in this country, as they reaffirm their commitment to learning about and celebrating Indigenous culture.
Australia and New Zealand will take a stand against global racism and Aboriginal deaths in custody before Saturday’s first T20I at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field, forming a Barefoot Circle in recognition of the inequality between non-Indigenous Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
The team will also wear the Walkabout Wickets logo, designed by Aunty Fiona Clarke, on the collar of their playing shirts in every series going forward.
The Australian team are supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and their decision to take a stance on Saturday is a continuation of the work they started more than 12 months ago when they wore the Walkabout Wickets logo on their Test whites during the Ashes campaign in the United Kingdom.
In January this year, Australia wore a uniform designed by Aboriginal artists and took part in a Barefoot Circle ahead of a T20 International match against England in Canberra.
Going forward, each time the team plays or trains at a new venue, they will connect to country with a Barefoot Circle.
This commitment has been driven by Gardner, who last year became just the third Indigenous Australian to wear the Baggy Green, alongside senior players including Haynes, captain Meg Lanning and coach Matthew Mott.
"Ash has been instrumental in leading that discussion and putting together some really good ideas," Haynes told cricket.com.au.
"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.
"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.
"We were lucky to wear an Indigenous strip last year, but also we wanted to make sure there was something on our shirts all the time.
"It’s really pleasing we’ve been able to do that."
Helping to raise awareness of racism in Australia, while also educating themselves about Indigenous culture, will be an ongoing priority for the team.
Muruwari woman Gardner’s rise up the ranks of elite cricket has seen her become a role model for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, while the arrival of young guns Hannah Darlington and Anika Learoyd in the WBBL has increased Indigenous representation in the league.
However, it is the responsibility of all to speak out and to learn, Haynes believes.
"It’s a pretty big burden to carry, to expect one player to do it all," she said.
"One of the great things is chatting to Ash and seeing how passionate she is about it, it’s a completely different side to her with her willingness to share her knowledge on it and that’s been really great for Meg and I.
"With Ash being an Aboriginal woman, her Aunty is going to chat to our team throughout the (New Zealand) series and give us some background on her family and upbringing and culture.
"Ongoing, our team will commit some regular education pieces.
"The more the playing group and staff learns to get a greater understanding of Indigenous culture, the more confidence there will be around talking about it and being open to different experiences."
Haynes recently took part in the first episode of Cricket Connecting Country, a series of online panel discussions commissioned by Cricket Australia.
They will be broadcast throughout this summer as part of CA's efforts to address racism in the sport and to increase involvement of Indigenous Australians and other Australians of colour in cricket.
Alongside her on the panel was former Australia allrounder and Wiradjuri man Dan Christian as well as social activists Dr Janine Mohamed and Nyadol Nyuon.
"That was a huge learning experience for me," Haynes said.
"Going into it, I was a little bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. But the panel was incredible and I think their willingness to share their experiences and talk about not only their experiences in cricket but external to that as well, I found it so informative."
CommBank T20I and ODI series
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa
New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Natalie Dodd, Deanna Doughty, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jenson, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin
All matches to be played at Brisbane's Allan Border Field
September 26: First T20, 1:50pm AEST
September 27: Second T20, 1:45pm AEST
September 30: Third T20, 1:45pm AEST
October 3: First ODI, 10:10am AEST
October 5: Second ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
October 7: Third ODI, 10:10am AEST (11:10 AEDT)
Watch live on the Seven Network, Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports