CA has named women’s and men’s squads, featuring the nation’s best Indigenous players to tour the UK for the first two weeks of June, 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.

The Northern Territory has contributed to the success of the squad, which features several players with strong NT links, having played junior cricket, represented the NT and risen to higher honours through the cricket pathway.  More than half the players in the two squads played in the recent National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) in Alice Springs in February this year, which showcases the best of Indigenous cricket.

 

D'Arcy Short - from NT Cricket to Australian honours
D'Arcy Short - from NT Cricket to Australian honours

 

Katherine born D’Arcy Short will be a key player in a strong touring team made up of representatives from the recent National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC), played in Alice Springs.  Short played his junior cricket in the NT, relocating to WA to pursue a State contract before his breakthrough into the BBL, Australian T20 squads and the current Indian Premier League. Prior to his national success, Short was selected for the Indigenous XI that toured India in 2009 and was included in the National Indigenous Squad in 2017. D’Arcy’s selection in the commemorative Aboriginal XI sees him play with WA NICC team mate, Dane Ugle and NSW’s Nathan Price, who both starred in the 2018 NICC championships, earning them ‘Black Caps’ selection.  Nick Boland, Sam Doggett and Damon Egan all played in the NICC in Alice Springs in February and will join the team to tour the UK after their strong performances.

Sally Moylan, Ashleigh Gardner and Shelley Nitschke (Indigenous women tour India in 2009)
Sally Moylan, Ashleigh Gardner and Shelley Nitschke (Indigenous women tour India in 2009)

Shelley Nitschke, former Katherine resident and 2010 ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year will coach the Aboriginal Women’s XI for the UK tour and remains a mentor for NT women who are looking to develop their game.  Nitschke rose through the ranks before following her career in Adelaide which saw her play state cricket, as well as international Test Cricket, ODIs and T20 tournaments and feature in the WBBL for Adelaide Strikers

Sally Moylan is included in the women’s squad and has played for the Northern Territory in the NICC for several years, before her move to the ACT where she played for the ACT Meteors in the WNCL competition. She was selected to play in the Women’s Invitational XI which toured India in 2009 and has a long history with the Imparja Cup and NICC, being selected as a “Black Cap’ on more than one occasion in recognition of her outstanding performances.  She is joined in the team by several of the current NICC champions who played in Alice Springs in 2018 including Jemma Astley, Dharmini Chauahan, Christina Coulson, Sara Darney, Zoe Fleming, Emma Manix-Geeves and Roxanne Van Reen.

Dan Chistian at the 2018 Imparja Cup in Alice Springs
Dan Chistian at the 2018 Imparja Cup in Alice Springs

 

Dan Christian has been named Captain of the men’s squad and has enjoyed time in the NT, most recently working with players and coaches during the NICC.  During his time in Alice Springs he took time out to partner with the Correctional Centre to run a cricket clinic for prisoners who entered the Imparja Cup Carnival as part of their re-integration program.


NT Cricket is proud to be at the centre of Indigenous cricket as host of the NICC and Imparja Cup Championships, held in Alice Springs each year.  The recent announcement of a new agreement with Cricket Australia will keep Indigenous cricket in the red centre for another three years.  This comes on the back of the interest and excitement following the inaugural WBBL and BBL Indigenous round which featured a weekend of T20 cricket between the Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers at Traeger Park in January this year.

Australian Test Players: Jason Gillespie and Faith Thomas in Alice Springs for the BBL / WBBL 2018
Australian Test Players: Jason Gillespie and Faith Thomas in Alice Springs for the BBL / WBBL 2018

 

NT Cricket continues to engage with Indigenous people to increase their participation in cricket and ultimately offer the opportunity for them to follow the pathway into local, club and NT cricket, right through to higher honours.  The Association has put a strong focus on ‘Growing Cricket in the North’ and increasing Indigenous cricket participation rates, through remote cricket carnivals, visits to communities, cricket clinics and working with territory Associations.  There were more than 4400 Indigenous participants involved in formal NT Cricket programs in 2017, with the number expected to top 5000 this year.  The NT Government Remote Sports Vouchers enables many people to get involved, and there is a resurgence of cricket in remote areas, through Community Cup Championships like the Rossy Williams Shield (Tennant Creek), the Barra Cup (Borroloola), Nitmuluk Cup (Katherine), Winga Shield (Tiwi Islands), Dingo Cup (Timber Creek) and the Lingalonga Festival in Batchelor.

The NT Government has provided Remote Sports Vouchers which encourages participation in sports across remote areas.  Matt Henderson, the NT Cricket Regional Office based in Alice Springs , recently spent time in the Ampilawatja Remote community, 320 kms north of Alice Springs running cricket clinics for girls and boys.

Dan Christian will Captain the Aboriginal XI tour to UK
Dan Christian will Captain the Aboriginal XI tour to UK

 

Ashleigh Gardner and Dan Christian, will lead the respective sides and both have been regular players and visitors to the NT Cricket Imparja Cup, as well as playing in the National Indigenous Cricket Championships.  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.”

In a recent interview for the Players Voice, D’Arcy Short summed up the importance of Indigenous representation at the highest level “ I’d like to think that when Indigenous kids see us playing together in the Big Bash, it sends a message that they can achieve anything they set their minds to with self-belief."

To find our more about NT Cricket's Remote Carnivals and opportunities for Indigenous cricket, please contact the Game and Market Development Manager, Mitch Farnell on (08) 8944 8900 or via email.  Visit our Remote Cricket page for more details.

 

 

2018 Aboriginal XI – Men

Name

Mob

State

1868 Player Representing

Dan Christian (C)

WIRADJURI

VIC

UNAARRIMIN (JOHNNY MULLAGH)

Nick Boland

GULIGAN

VIC

GRONGARRONG (MOSQUITO)

Scott Boland

GULIGAN

VIC

YELLANACH (JOHNNY CUZENS)

Brendan Doggett

WORIMI

QLD

MURRUMGUNARRIMAN (TWOPENNY)

Sam Doggett

WORIMI

NSW

PRIPUMUARRAMAN (CHARLEY DUMAS)

Damon Egan

GUNDITJMARA

VIC

JUMGUMJENANUKE (DICK-A-DICK)

Tyran Liddiard

BIRIPI

NSW

BULLCHANACH (BULLOCKY)

Jonte Pattison

WIRADJURI

NSW

BRIMBUNYAH (REDCAP)

Nathan Price

KAMILAROI

NSW

ARRAHMUNYARRIMUN (PETER)

D’Arcy Short

MITAKOODI

WA

BONNIBARNGEET (TIGER)

Brendan Smith

DHUNGUTTI

NSW

LYTEJERBILLIJUN (JIM CROW)

Rex Strickland

WONNARUA

WA

BALLRINJARRIMIN (SUNDOWN)

Dane Ugle

NYOONGAR / BALLARDONG

WA

BRIPUMYARRIMIN (KING COLE)

Coach - Jeffrey Cook (KAMILAROI)

 

2018 Aboriginal XI - Women

Name

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