Melbourne Renegades and former Australian all-rounder Dan Christian has called on the Big Bash to introduce an Indigenous Round.
During 2019’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, Christian said:
“I’ve been quite vocal in the past about wanting a WBBL and BBL Indigenous Round.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for us as cricketers to promote the sport to young Indigenous kids and also to celebrate and grow awareness about our culture to the wider cricket community and to the public.”
Christian encouraged the Big Bash to adopt a similar approach to other sports which celebrate Indigenous Rounds.
“I think an Indigenous Round in the BBL would be great for the sport in particular.
“We’ve seen how well it’s been received in the AFL and NRL. All the players get right behind it, both the indigenous and non-Indigenous players.
“The guernseys look fantastic and the whole week is a real celebration of Indigenous culture and I think it would be great for cricket to get behind it and do that.”
“We’ve got so many fantastic indigenous players in the NRL and AFL, that young kids can grow up and aspire to be like and I think we are starting to get that in cricket as well.”
“It would be great for young kids to have something to look up to like that in cricket.”
During the 2018-19 BBL season, Christian introduced Indigenous styled artwork on his bat as a means of promoting cricket within the Indigenous community.
Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers have also unveiled Indigenous style guernseys in recent years, which were launched to coincide with their BBL and WBBL double headers in Alice Springs.
“You’ve got a handful of us Indigenous players in the BBL and WBBL; D’Arcy Short, Ash Gardner, Scott Boland, Josh Lalor and Brendan Doggett and I just think it would be a good opportunity to highlight that.
“And to highlight the success of the National Indigenous Championships as well, which take part in Alice Springs every year.
“It would wonderful for the sport and wonderful for Indigenous kids to know that cricket is an avenue they can go down when they get a bit older.
“It’s a wonderful sport and it’s given me a lot of opportunities and hopefully those opportunities can be afforded to some young kids coming through as well,” Christian said.
In 2018, Christian captained the Australian Aboriginal XI squad which travelled to England to commemorate the 1868 Aboriginal cricket team, which became the first Australian sporting team to tour internationally.