As cricket’s popularity in 1868 increased, a non-Indigenous man by the name of Charles Lawrence decided to band together an all-Indigenous team of Aboriginal men from lands of western Victoria, believing that their traditional abilities would make them outstanding cricketers . It played its first game at Manly Oval, a Prime Minister’s XI, led by Bob Hawke .
Charles Lawrence then decided the team to tour England, a journey that started on 8 February 1868 and took them over six weeks by boat. Led by star all-rounder Johnny Mullagh (Unaarrimin), they won 14, lost 14 and drew 19 of their 47 games over six months.
The Aboriginal cricketers’ journey to England in 1868 was the first sports team to represent Australia overseas, 14 years before the first Ashes tour. It created the beginnings of what is now considered the greatest battle in modern cricket—the battle for the Ashes.
In 2002 the team was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
|Player number||Traditional name||European name|
|AUS 4||Brimbunyah||Red Cap|
|AUS 5||Bripumyarrimin||King Cole|
|AUS 7||n/a||Charles Lawrence (captain/coach)|
|AUS 9||Jarrawuk (Murrumgunarrimin)||Two Penny|
|AUS 11||Lyterjerbillijun||Jim Crow|
|AUS 12||Pripumuarraman||Charles Dumas|
|AUS 13||Unaarrimin||Johnny Mullagh|
|AUS 14||Yellanach||Johnny Cuzens|
In 1988 a 17-member Aboriginal Cricket Association team celebrated the 120th anniversary of the tour by travelling to England. Captained by John Maquire the team played 28 games, winning 16 of them. They met the Queen at Buckingham Palace and went backstage at an INXS concert.
In 2009 a squad of 14 Aboriginal players aged 16-26 left Brisbane, Queensland, on 20 June to retrace some of the famous 1868 tour. They played 11 matches within a month, some at the grounds where the tourists of 141 years ago visited.
This time the Indigenous cricket team won 8, lost 3 and drew 1 of their 12 games.
The documentary From The Ashes traces the journey of two members of the 2009 team, Worrin Williams and Cameron Trask.
In the 132 years sinced the first Test match was played, Jason Gillespie is the only Indigenous player to have represented Australia at cricket .
It's only a matter of time before Indigenous people make their mark in first-class cricket, particularly with the popularity of Twenty/20.—Dan Christian, Aboriginal cricketer 
Fact There are 13,000 registered Aboriginal cricketers across Australia. That figure, however, pales against the thousands of Aboriginal footballers in Australian rules or rugby league.