Gardner and Christian named Indigenous Captains

Ashleigh Gardner and Dan Christian were today named the National Indigenous Captains as part of Cricket Australia’s celebration of NAIDOC* Week. Also announced were the extended female and male Indigenous squads for their upcoming high-performance camps and matches in preparation for next year’s tour of the United Kingdom.

Christian’s and Gardner’s achievements have been acknowledged with their names engraved on the honour board in the foyer of the Bupa National Cricket Centre alongside the likes of Meg Lanning and Steve Smith.

“Cricket Australia is committed to deepening our engagement with Indigenous people and Indigenous communities,” said Andrew Ingleton, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager, Game and Market Development. “Over the last four years we have seen participation numbers for Indigenous Australians increase from just 8,000 in 2013 to more than 50,000 today.”

The naming of the extended squads is the first step on the road to the 2018 tour of the United Kingdom for both the men’s and women’s Indigenous teams as they commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.

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In naming the squad this morning, Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell reflected on the rapidly increasing pool of Indigenous players performing at high levels all over the country.

“In recent years we have seen a noticeable rise in Indigenous cricketers coming through the talent pathway. Now more than 60 male and female indigenous cricketers are playing First XI Premier Cricket and several are having an impact in the WBBL and BBL.

“All players who have been selected in these squads are not only great cricketers but also strong Indigenous role models who, I have no doubt, will inspire the next generation of Dan Christians and Ashleigh Gardners.”

Stuart Tucker, CBA’s General Manager of Brand, Sponsorship and Marketing Services, congratulated Ashleigh and Dan on their appointments.

“Supporting the game for Indigenous cricketers is a central focus of our partnership with Cricket Australia. We want to make sure past Indigenous cricketers are recognised for their service to the game, and, just as importantly, we want to invest in the next generation.

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“Ashleigh and Dan are the leading lights of this next generation, and we’re delighted they have been selected to captain their teams. We have no doubt they will continue to do the country proud.”

The men’s squad will play a series of matches in late August against a Queensland XI, Papua New Guinea and the National Performance Squad, while the women’s squad will take part in a high-performance camp from 5–11 August at the Bupa National Cricket Centre.

2017 National Indigenous Squad (Women)
Ashleigh Gardner (Captain), NSW
Carly Fuller, QLD
Christina Coulson, QLD
Clodagh Ryall, QLD
Emily Martin (Bowden), WA
Emma Manix-Geeves, TAS
Hannah Darlington, NSW
Haylee Hoffmeister, NSW
Jacinda Goodger-Chandler, VIC
Jemma Astley, NSW
Kavita Pepper, WA
Maddison Greenhalgh, NSW
Marinda Hale, VIC
Molly Ward, VIC
Natalie Plane, VIC
Roxanne Van-Veen, NSW
Sally Moylan, NT
Samara Williams, WA
Sara Darney, NSW
Zoe Fleming, NSW

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2017 National Indigenous Squad (Men)
Dan Christian (Captain), VIC
Alex Melville, QLD
Ben Abbatangelo, VIC
Brendan Smith, NSW
Brendan Doggett, QLD
Cameron Trask, QLD
Damon Egan, VIC
Dane Ugle, WA
D’Arcy Short, WA
Jonte Pattison, NSW
Joshua Lalor, NSW
Liam Ward, TAS
Nathan Price, NSW
Nick Boland, VIC
Rhys Ward, TAS
Ryan Lees, TAS
Sam Doggett, QLD
Scott Boland, VIC
Zac Chapman, NT

Of interest in the men’s squad is that it contains three sets of brothers, the Ward twins, Liam and Rhys from Tasmania, Sam and Brendan Doggett from Queensland and Nick and Scott Boland from Victoria. This is the first time Nick and Scott Boland have been selected in the same cricket squad. Remarkably all six players are fast bowlers.

The Commonwealth Bank has been supporting Australian cricket at all levels for 30 years and is proud to be the Principal Partner of the men’s and women’s Indigenous National Squads.

*NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.