|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
June 16, 2009
A team of Aboriginal cricketers sets off for Britain on Saturday, following in the footsteps of a pioneering indigenous side recognised as the first to represent Australia in any sporting code. The original side, a privately-raised venture, toured England with great success in 1868, winning 14, losing 14 and drawing 19 matches on a gruelling schedule.
They were due to return the following year but the plan fell through because of a lack of money. To mark what is recognised as the first Australian side to visit England, Cricket Australia has assembled a team of young Aboriginal cricketers who will play matches at some of the grounds used by the original party.
"It's hard to imagine what is was like to tour 141 years ago, three months on a boat for a start would have been hard enough for those guys," Daniel Christian, the team's captain, said. "As we've seen through other sports, indigenous people are some of the most talented sportspeople in the country and it's only a matter of time until some of this squad make their mark in first-class cricket. This will give kids in the indigenous community more role models to look up to."
Tour manager Neale Price echoed those views. "Cricket's a game that can take you to the UK, India, South Africa, the West Indies … any corner of the world," Price said. "There's not many major sports in Australia that can offer that experience, so hopefully this team will come back as role models and spur on indigenous boys and girls to get involved in cricket."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The serene team culture cultivated by Misbah and his men shouldn't be allowed to be disrupted by a player with a tainted past
Former Sri Lanka batsman Asanka Gurusinha talks about playing and coaching in Australia, and tactics during the 1996 World Cup
Mahela Jayawardene reflects on his Test career, and the need to bridge the gap between international and club cricket in Sri Lanka
He's past his use-by date as a Test captain and keeper. India now have a chance to test Kohli's leadership skills
Also, scoring a hundred and opening the bowling, the youngest Australian player, and scoreless in three Tests
Never mind cricket's absence from free-to-air TV - changes in social attitudes, the demands of work, and an individualistic age are all contributing to a decline in participation
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough
Pakistan have notched up some fine wins under Misbah-ul-Haq's leadership, but they haven't yet achieved consistent results outside the UAE