Australia, New Zealand teams to take a stand against racism ahead of the first T20I

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Australia, New Zealand teams to take a stand against racism ahead of the first T20I

WBBL players forming Barefoot Circle in solidarity with the Aboriginal communities against racism. © Adelaide Strikers WBB Twitter

The Australian and New Zealand team would be forming a barefoot circle at the Allan Border Field before the start of the first T20I in solidarity with the aboriginal people against racism. The gesture is to throw some light on the custodial deaths of 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody submitted in its findings in 1991.



The Australian team would be wearing the Walkabout Wickets logo - designed by Aunty Fiona Clarke, a descendant of one of the members of the teams that played in 1866 and 1868 - on their collars for every series from now.



Ashleigh Gardner, who is just the third Indigenous Australian to play for the national team, had a crucial role to play in this transformation and discussion on social inequalities between the non-Indigenous Australians and Aboriginal communities over the last year and a half.



"Last year as a squad we started to think about how we wanted to represent (Indigenous culture) and to participate in one of the first Indigenous rounds in cricket from an international perspective (in January) was really special," Rachael Haynes told cricket.com.au.



She said that they would want to continue the good work and have more purpose around what they do. "So it’s not one-offs, we want to do things throughout the year and make it a learning experience," Haynes said.



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Haynes emphasised on the significance of everyone in the team to take the onus on themselves to do their part in the movement. "One of the great things is chatting to Ash and seeing how passionate she is about it, it’s a completely different side to her with her willingness to share her knowledge on it, and that’s been really great for Meg (Lanning) and I," she added.



"With Ash being an Aboriginal woman, her Aunty is going to chat to our team throughout the (New Zealand) series, and give us some background on her family and upbringing and culture."



Haynes insisted that the team would be committing to be continuous education on societal inequalities and racism. "The more the playing group and staff learns to get a greater understanding of Indigenous culture, the more confidence there will be around talking about it and being open to different experiences," she concluded.
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