CANBERRA: The Australian men's cricket team has unveiled their playing kit for the T20 World Cup scheduled to start on October 16 in Australia. The team's kit was revealed by Cricket Australia on their Twitter handle on Wednesday. The uniform was created by Aunty Fiona Clarke and Courtney Hagen in partnership with Asics; the two have previously collaborated on other Indigenous designs worn by Australia. The hosts will don an Indigenous-inspired jersey for the first time at a World Cup event.
For the first time ever, an Australian cricket team will compete in a major event sporting a playing uniform honouring the First Nations. Artwork surrounds the shirt, which has black sleeves and a green and gold gradient on the trunk. The black trousers and black cap will have the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on the brim, while the long-sleeved version will have the gold and green artwork extended onto the sleeves of the top.
The Walkabout Wickets artwork that has evolved into a dominant theme is once again centred on the front of the shirt, as it has been in prior designs. The artist of Walkabout Wickets is Clarke, a Kirrae Whurrong woman and great great granddaughter of James "Mosquito" Couzens, who played for the Aboriginal XI in a historic match at the MCG in 1866 and travelled to England in 1868 as part of the first Australian sports team to play outside of the country.
Prior to the 2016 Boxing Day Test, Clarke designed the artwork to honour the 150th anniversary of the 1866 game. Ever since it has been shown on the collar of the test shirt. Connection is a key element for the kit, and it pays tribute to the past, present, and upcoming First Nations cricketers.
"The overall design is to do with the process of connecting with yourself as an individual, as a team, in the community and whatever is surrounded by you ... with the river, the land, whatever you see," cricekt.com.au quoted Clarke. A Butchulla and Gubbi Gubbi woman named Hagen described that the pattern included stars to represent ancestors and wickets to indicate games played.
On the shirt's back, the First XI of the Aboriginal squad that toured England in 1868 is depicted in the shirt's major design. Only four Indigenous men and two Indigenous women have played international cricket for Australia since the first Test in 1877, despite the pioneering efforts of the 1868 squad, who undertook the treacherous voyage by ship to the UK and played 47 matches at locations including Lord's and The Oval.
The eye-catching new T20 World Cup uniform comes after Australia won the 2021 championship in Dubai while sporting two different uniforms, marking the first time an Australian side was required to prepare an 'alternative'. The ICC T20 World Cup will be hosted by Australia from October 16, 2022, to November 13, 2022.