Melbourne, Dec 20 (IANS) The ninth edition of the Big Bash League will celebrate Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures, with the first of five Indigenous-themed matches to be played on Friday.
In this BBL season, the addition of specially designed Kookaburra balls will add further significance to the matches. In each fixture, the same Kookaburra white Turf ball will be used, with the logo replaced by Aunty Fiona Clarke’s ‘Walkabout Wickets’ design. The word ‘Kookaburra’ will be replaced by the equivalent term in each location’s Indigenous language, stated Cricket Australia in an official media release.
Friday’s clash between the Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers at Traeger Park, “Thipe Artherrentye-Akngerre” will be written on the ball, as the native Kookaburra is known by the Arrente people of Alice Springs.
The indigenous designs on the balls will complement other new and existing initiatives, headlined by Indigenous-themed kits worn by teams on-field. Five teams – Adelaide Strikers, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder – will sport kits designed by local Indigenous artists in one or two matches each.
Woolworths Cricket Blast participants who take the field at Indigenous matches will also sport a kit with the Indigenous design, as launched before the Adelaide Test match.
Cricket Australia head of BBL, Alistair Dobson, emphasised the importance of celebrating Indigenous culture in the BBL.
“The Indigenous-themed matches are always a highlight on the calendar. To bring fans and clubs together for five of these fixtures in BBL|09 is a great outcome and another important step towards reconciliation.
“We thank our clubs for supporting the concept and look forward to seeing these celebrations come to life again this season,” he added.
Melbourne Renegades all-rounder and Australian men’s indigenous team captain, Dan Christian, will again be using a custom designed Kookaburra bat with Indigenous artwork by Emma MacNeill through the BBL season. He hailed the expansion of the Indigenous footprint on BBL|09.
“The chance for us to celebrate Indigenous culture through the BBL and promote cricket to Australia’s first people is something I’ve been wanting to see for a long time,” Christian said.