Australian cricket, race, and First Nations Australians: the past and present

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Abstract

Games and sport during the colonial period in Australia were rarely hospitable to First Nations people. However, the first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868 were predominantly First Nations men. While such a tour might appear to be a ‘triumph' for race relations in Australia, the details of the tour and treatment of the young men were haunting. The 1868 tour has been glorified in contemporary cricket circles, however, despite this, the promotion of the game to First Nations Australians is relatively recent. Over the last decade, Australian cricket has attempted to combat racism and promote First Nations player development through initiatives such as their Reconciliation Action Plan. One example of promoting the Black Lives Matter message and anti-racism has been carried out by Australia's national women's cricket team and the women's national T20 competition. In 2020, the Australian women cricketers made a conscious decision to promote the Black Lives Matter movement by engaging in a ‘barefoot circle' to acknowledge country before each match. This manuscript will explore the importance of the Australian women cricketers' actions and advocacy against the backdrop of Australia’s history and interactions with First Nations Australians in cricket.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-404
Number of pages21
JournalSport in History
Volume42
Issue number3
Early online date03 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2022

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