Aboriginal XI squads to commemorate 1868 pioneers with UK tour | Cricket Australia

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Aboriginal XI squads to commemorate 1868 pioneers with UK tour

April 10, 2018

Cricket Australia has announced the squads, schedule, community activities and uniform for an historic tour of the UK for the nation’s best Indigenous players.

Women’s and men’s squads will tour the UK for the first two weeks of June, with both to play under the banner of the ‘2018 Aboriginal XI.’

The event will commemorate 150 years since an Aboriginal cricket team became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.

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).

Venues used for fixtures against Surrey, Sussex and Derbyshire will be the same as those used in 1868 including a double-header at The Oval.

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 (also in the team) 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.

A selection of players will travel to Victoria’s West Wimmera region to meet with ancestors and visit key sites significant to the 1868 team. Some of these include training and match locations, Johnny Mullagh Oval, Johnny Mullagh’s grave and the Harrow Discovery Centre.

In 1868, all-rounder Bripumyarrimin (King Cole) tragically passed away in the UK. Both squads will visit his place of rest in London to pay their respects.

Teams will also visit a temporary display at the MCC Museum at Lords that explores the history of the 1868 tour. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Exeter is lending Aboriginal artefacts, newly identified from the 1868 cricket tour to the UK, for display at Lord’s throughout the 2018 season.

Speaking on the squads, Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said:

“We have assembled two strong squads for this tour that include four players who currently or have previously represented Australia – Christian, Gardner, D’Arcy Short and Scott Boland - and a further six players on WBBL, BBL or State contracts last season.

“Our women’s team  has a strong look to the future with an average age of just over 20 while our men have a great combination of youth and experience. I’m confident both squads will perform well against what will be some tough English opposition.”

One noticeable absentee from the men’s squad is Brisbane Heat fast bowler Josh Lalor who is expecting the birth of his first child during the tour.

The tour is proudly supported by the Commonwealth Bank who are the Principal Partner of Cricket Australia’s A Sport for All program.

The official hashtag of the 2018 Aboriginal XI tour to the UK is #walkaboutwickets

2018 Aboriginal XI - Men




1868 Player Representing 

Dan Christian (C)



Unaarrimin (Johnny Mullagh)

Nick Boland



Grongarrong (Mosquito)

Scott Boland



Yellanach (Johnny Cuzens)

Brendan Doggett



Murrumgunarriman (Twopenny)

Sam Doggett



Prioumuarraman (Charlie Dumas)

Damon Egan



Jumgumjenanuke (Dick-a-Dick)

Tyron Liddiard 



Bullchanach (Bullocky)

Jonte Pattison



Brimbunyah (Redcap)

Nathan Price



Arrahmunyarrimun (Peter)

D'Arcy Short



Bonnibarngeet (Tiger)

Brendan Smith



Lytejerbillijun (Jim Crow)

Rex Strickland



Ballrinharrimin (Sundown)

Dane Ugle

Nyoongar / Ballardong


Bripumyarrimin (King Cole)

Coach: Jeffrey Cook (Kamilaroi)

2018 Aboriginal XI - Women

  Mob State 
 Ashleigh Gardner (C)  Murwari  SA
 Jemma Astley  Wanarua  NSW
 Dharmini Chauhan  Wiradjuri  NSW
 Christina Coulson    QLD
 Hannah Darlington  Kamilaroi  NSW
 Sara Darney  Wiradjuri  NSW
 Zoe Fleming  Kamilaroi  NSW
 Haylee Hoffmeister  Palawa  WA
 Emma Manix-Geeves  Palawa  TAS
 Sally Moylan  Wiradjuri  ACT
 Natalie Plane  Kamilaroi  VIC
 Roxanne Van Veen  Gundungurra  NSW
 Naomi Woods  Kamilaroi  NSW

Coach: Shelley Nitschke



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
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
12th June – Aboriginal XI v ECB Academy @ Loughborough

Fast Facts

    54,346 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders participated in cricket in the 2016-17 cricket season. A 47% increase on 2015-16, and an increase of over 45,000 participants since 2013-14.

    The average age of the men’ 2018 Aboriginal XI is 24.92

    The average age of the women’s 2018 Aboriginal XI is 20.53

    There are 6 Indigenous State contracted players

    There are 7 Indigenous BBL and WBBL contracted players