Melbourne [Australia], November 8 (ANI): Cricket Australia on Sunday announced that it would be celebrating "NAIDOC Week" through a range of initiatives including the rebel Women's Big Bash League's First Nations Festival of Cricket.
Held from November 8-15, NAIDOC Week celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and provides an opportunity to acknowledge history, culture, and achievements.
This is the first time NAIDOC week has fallen within the cricket season, with this year's theme focusing on Always Was, Always Will Be, recognising that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
The First Nations Festival of Cricket will take place on November 14 and 15. Teams will take part in a barefoot circle pre-match, Walkabout Wickets artwork will be featured on match balls and the bat flip as well as the Melbourne Renegades, Perth Scorchers, and Sydney Thunder wearing an indigenous designed shirt along with teams displaying the Walkabout Wickets logo on their uniforms.
The weekend will also support Cricket Australia's work with the Stars Foundation who supports Indigenous girls and young women to attend school, complete Year 12, and move into full-time work or further study.
"We're looking forward to honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during the First Nations Festival of Cricket. The WBBL players have been very proactive throughout the tournament and we hope the Festival provides further opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate First Nations peoples and cultures," Alistair Dobson, Head of Big Bash Leagues said in an official statement.
In addition to the First Nations Festival of Cricket, this round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield will be named NAIDOC Round with teams also participating in a barefoot circle.
To commemorate one of the nation's most incredible and untold sporting stories two further initiatives will be celebrated in NAIDOC Week. In 1868, a group of all Aboriginal cricketers made a three-month journey from Australia to the UK by sea. They arrived in the UK to play 47 matches at some of the most famous grounds in world cricket. (ANI)