First National Indigenous Women’s Team to Tour of India

Ashleigh Gardner main








Ashleigh Gardner, NSW  will captain the team


By Kersi Meher-Homji

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, an Indigenous women’s team was announced today at a special reception in Canberra hosted by Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove.

History was made as this first national Indigenous women’s team will tour India in May.

The squad of 14 will travel to Delhi and Mumbai from 20 to 30 May for two 50-over matches and four T20s against Delhi, Mumbai, Payadde Sports Club and Global Cricket School women’s teams, as well as the Cricket Club of India and Bombay Gymkhana men’s teams.

The team has been selected based on performances at the recent National Indigenous Cricket Championships in Alice Springs. It had a record number of female participants as well as performances at club level around Australia.

Eighteen-year-old Commonwealth Bank shooting star and Sydney Sixer player Ashleigh Gardner will captain the side, supported by former Australia under-19 and ACT cricketer Sally Moylan as vice-captain.

Gardner and Moylan attended the reception at Government House in Canberra today, joined by Faith Thomas, the first Indigenous Australian to represent Australia in sport when she made her Test debut in 1958.

Former ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and four-time Australian Women’s Cricketer of the Year Shelley Nitschke will be the team coach in India.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for each of the women selected. The team will build on the success and opportunities that the men’s national Indigenous side has enjoyed, helping our most talented female Indigenous cricketers reach new heights through additional high performance opportunities.

“The first national Indigenous women’s team comes at a time when both Indigenous and female cricket are thriving. Indigenous cricket participation has hit a record 26,000 participants and female participation. This is also at record numbers of 290,000. We wish the team every success for the tour.”

The tour of India is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia-India Council as a program that will build awareness and understanding between Australia and India, in this instance through sport and Indigenous culture.

Two secondary school students and one teacher from the Stars Foundation will join the squad on tour as part of the partnership between Cricket Australia and the Foundation, through which 500 Indigenous girls play cricket as part of their education.

The 14-woman squad, which was selected by Shawn Flegler, Cricket Australia’s (CA) National Female Pathway Manager, Sam Almaliki, CA Head of Community Engagement and Paul Stewart, CA Indigenous Cricket Officer is as under:

Ashleigh Gardner (captain, NSW), Sally Moylan (vice-capt, Northern Territory), Emily Bowden (WA), Sara Darney (NSW), Carly Fuller (Qld), Jacintha Goodger-Chandler (Vic), Samantha Gordon (NSW), Haylee Hoffmeister (NSW), Febi Mansell (SA), Kavita Pepper (WA), Natalie Plane (Vic), Roxanne Van-Veen (NSW), Taylor Wigg (Tas) and Samara Williams (WA).











The Aboriginal men’s cricket team pictured with their captain and coach Tom Wills at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, December 1866.


It should be remembered that the first Australian (men’s) cricket team to tour overseas (England) in 1868 was made up of Aboriginals, a decade before the first white Australian cricket team toured England in 1878.

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