Australian cricketers to visit Wimmera before recreating history in England

CRICKETERS set to represent Australia on a tour of England will travel to Harrow, Edenhope and Bringalbert before their trip in June to learn about the history they will recreate.

Two 13-player Aboriginal sides will follow in the footsteps of the first Australian sporting side to tour internationally in 1868.

Harrow Discovery Centre’s Josie Sangster said the announcement that Cricket Australia would send some of the players to the region before the tour was exciting.

“It’s incredible because we’ve been telling this story with as much enthusiasm as we are today for a long time,” she said.

“It hasn’t taken until the 150th anniversary of the tour for us to recognise the enormity and importance. The tour is just as important now as it was when we opened the centre in order to keep the story alive, while telling the story accurately and respectively for the descendants and generations to come.”

She said Cricket Australia had recognised the significance of the story while simultaneously trying to increase Aboriginal participation in cricket. 

“Moving forward they will be able to use this as a learning tool,” she said.

“We are always enthused about this story and telling it passionately – to have Cricket Australia come with the Aboriginal team only amplifies that.”

The visit to the region is likely to attract national attention, with a number of Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League players in the men’s and women’s squads.

Cricket Australia national talent manager Greg Chappell said the inclusion of former Australian representatives Dan Christian, Ashleigh Gardner, D'Arcy Short and Scott Boland ensured the squads were strong.

“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,” he said.

“I’m confident both squads will perform well against what will be some tough English opposition.”

The 13-player men’s squad’s playing tops will feature the names of the 13 players from the 1868 tour, while the women will wear their own uniforms as a pioneering team in their own right.

Dates for when the squad will tour the region are still to be confirmed, but the visit will likely be late in May.

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