Cricket Australia (CA) has announced that the player of the second Test match between Australia and India will receive the Mullagh Medal named after the legendary Johnny Mullagh. The medal, entitled “Mullagh Medal”, is named after the Australian native side skipper who toured the UK in 1868. It was the first organized group of Australian sports teams to tour internationally. “The best player in the Boxing Day Test will receive the Mullagh Medal, named after the legendary Johnny Mullagh, captain of the 1868 cricket team that became Australia’s first sports team to tour internationally,” CA said in a tweet.
Australian all-rounder Dan Christian had led a native team two years ago along with female cricketer Ashleigh Gardner on a tour of England to mark the 150th anniversary of the event.
The all-rounder thinks the Mullagh Medal, which is awarded to the man of the competition at the end of the Boxing Day Test, is a great way to recognize the “Aboriginal Touring Group”.
“I think it’s a great way to acknowledge that (1868 Aboriginal tour group), but also after our tour a few years ago, on the 150th anniversary of their tour, that things are still progressing,” cricket.com. au quoted Christian.
“So it wasn’t just a token tour, it’s great to see that we are still going from there: we have the Barefoot Circles (for some matches), we use the Walkabout Wickets symbol designed for that tour, and now we have the Mullagh medal on the biggest podium we have in Australia, so it feels like we’re heading in a nice direction, ”he continued.
“It means we are definitely going in the right direction, and hopefully we will see many more indigenous children come through, and we can get another Ash Gardner and get a male on the testing team too,” he added.
In November, Team India and Australian players had formed a “Barefoot Circle” to respectfully recognize the traditional owners of the land, interact with each other as opponents, and pay respect to the country ahead of the first ODI.
Barefoot Circle is a statement adopted more widely by Australian cricket to connect with Aboriginal culture and the country in which matches are played, and has already been adopted by the women’s national team, Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) clubs and more recently the state teams in the Sheffield Shield earlier in November.
This is done barefoot as a way to connect with the land, but also a moment to reflect that we all have a common ground.
The circle is often part of pre-series activities and started in the round of reconciliation as an attitude of anti-racism, commitment to reconciliation and strengthening together.
Meanwhile, India and Australia will lock their horns at the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26.
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