Australia will wear an Indigenous-themed jersey at this year’s T20 World Cup, the first time an Australian cricket team has worn a playing stripe representing First Nations at a global event.
Featuring black sleeves and a green and gold gradient finish to the torso of the playing top, artwork flows around the jersey, which will be worn by Aaron Finch’s side as they attempt to defend the T20 World Championship on home soil later this year.
The long sleeve version extends the gold and green artwork on the sleeves of the top, while the trousers are black and one cap features the colors of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags around the brim.
The kit was designed by Aunt Fiona Clarke and Courtney Hagen in collaboration with Asics, with the pair previously collaborating on other Indigenous designs worn by Australia.
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As with previous designs, the Walkabout Wickets artwork, which has become a prominent motif, is again central to the front of the shirt.
Walkabout Gates was painted by Clarke, a woman from Kirrae Whurrong who is the great-great-granddaughter of James ‘Mosquito’ Couzens who played in the Aboriginal XI in a landmark match at the MCG in 1866 and also toured England in 1868, the premier sporting team Australia to play abroad.
Clarke created the artwork ahead of the 2016 Boxing Day Test to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1866 game, and it has featured on the collar of the Test shirt ever since.
It pays homage to First Nations cricketers past, present and rising, and connection is an important theme for the kit, which is available as a replica kit.
“The overall design has to do with the process of connecting to yourself as an individual, as a team, in the community, and with everything that surrounds you… with the flow, the land, whatever you see,” Clarke said.
Hagen, a Butchulla and Gubbi-Gubbi woman, explained that the design included wickets to represent games being played and stars to denote ancestors.
“In the center we were able to incorporate the colors of the two First Nations flags of Australia. So you have red, black, and yellow, which represents the Aboriginal flag, and blue, white, and green, which represents the flag of the Torres Strait Islanders.”
A central motif on the back of the shirt depicts the first eleven of the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured England.
Despite the pioneering achievements of the 1868 team, which made a perilous voyage to Britain and played 47 matches at places such as Lord’s and The Oval, only four Indigenous men and two Indigenous women have played international cricket for Australia since the first Test in 1877.
The striking new T20 World Cup kit comes after Australia wore two separate kits during their run to the 2021 title in Dubai, the first time an Australian team has had to produce an ‘alternative’ for a World Cup.
Australia’s men had planned to wear a black, gold and green kit, mirroring the stripe worn by the women’s team that won their T20 World Cup in 2020 when the men’s tournament was originally scheduled to be held in late 2020.
This event was later postponed amid the global COVID-19 pandemic and the Asics kit – featuring a design inspired by the Melbourne Cricket Ground, site of the tournament finals – was initially mothballed when the tournament moved to India (and subsequently to the UAE) was relocated ) in 2021.
It was revived by the men for the 2021 tournament, but the ICC decided it was too similar to other kits and the 2019 ODI World Cup kit was repurposed as the ‘Clash’ jersey.
It ultimately proved to be the jersey worn when Australia won the T20 World Cup for the first time, beating New Zealand in the final.
Men’s T20 World Championship 2022
Squad Australia: Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Tim David, Aaron Finch (c), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Group A: Sri Lanka, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands
Group B: West Indies, Scotland, Ireland, Zimbabwe
Super 12 stage
Group 1: Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, A1, B2
Group 2: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, B1, A2
Australia’s T20 World Cup 2022 Matches
October 22nd: v New Zealand, SCG, 6pm AEDT
October 25: v 1A, Optus Stadium, 10pm AEDT
28th of October: v England, MCG, 7pm AEDT
October 31: v 2B, Gabba, 7 p.m. AEDT
November 4th: v Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT
Click here for a full game of the T20 World Cup 2022
November 9th: SCG, 7 p.m. AEDT
November 10th: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT
November 13th: MCG, 7 p.m. AEDT