A historic tribute

Two female cricketers from Wellington are among the best Aboriginal cricketers in Australia selected to commemorate 1868 cricketers with a tour of the UK in June.

Star cricketers Sara Darney and Sally Moylan will join the women's Aboriginal XI squad on a commemorative tour of England in June to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured the UK.

REP: Sara Darney and Sally Moylan will join the women's Aboriginal XI squad on a commemorative tour of England in June. Photos: CRICKET AUS

REP: Sara Darney and Sally Moylan will join the women's Aboriginal XI squad on a commemorative tour of England in June. Photos: CRICKET AUS

The 1868 side, which also famously played a Boxing Day clash at the MCG in 1866, became the first Australian team in any sport to tour internationally when they played 47 matches throughout England across a six-month period.

Moylan, who now resides in Canberra, said she is proud to represent her home town and Australia in what is undoubtedly the highlight of her sporting career.

“It’s definitely an honourable thing commemorating 150 years since the first ever Australian team got sent overseas, not only Australian but Aboriginal, in a time they were facing great diversity,” she said. 

“It's an awesome opportunity and a great initiative Cricket Australia have come up with in highlighting how resilient and adaptable Aboriginal culture is when given different opportunities.

“It’s pretty nice to be able to showcase Wellington and the hard yards that both Sara and myself have put in over the years coming through primary school with Liz Jeffries and high school with Brian Johnson who were a very influential part of my cricketing career.”

In the women's squad, Southern Stars allrounder Ash Gardner, will lead a young squad with an average age of 20 featuring Sydney Sixers allrounder Haylee Hoffmeister and Sydney Thunder teenager Hannah Darlington.

Gardner told Cricket Australia that leading the tour, the first ever by an Indigenous women's team to the UK, was a great honour.

"Being able to represent my culture is really special and all the girls are really excited to do that too," she said.

Moylan hopes she and Darney’s selection will influence other young people from Wellington – a town she is proud to call home.

“That drive and determination coming from a small town with big Aboriginal community is something I’m very proud of and hopefully they’re proud of us too,” she said. “Hopefully we can influence a few more people coming out of Wellington to chase their dreams in whatever  it is they want to do.”

The  squad will play their first game on June 7.

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