Ian Chappell in his grandfather’s footsteps
A Cricket Walkabout is West Wimmera Shire’s newest tourist project. It will highlight this area of Victoria’s important links with Australia’s cricketing history, being where Aborigines were first introduced to cricket by people from the local stations.
As a result, this region produced Australia’s first international sporting team – the Aboriginal Cricket Team which toured England in 1868. A monument to the team’s achievements was erected in 1951 in Edenhope, near where the team practised and played prior to undertaking its local and international tour. The monument was organised by teacher and historian HG Martindale, and dedicated by Victor Richardson, former Test Captain for Australia and well known sportsman.
To initiate the project, works have been undertaken on the monument and its surrounds. A rededication ceremony was arranged so that recognition could be given to its Aboriginal significance and its first dedication.
Councillor Geoffrey Carracher discussed the monument project with Ian Chappell, sporting commentator, former Australian Test Captain and grandson of Victor Richardson. Ian Chappell expressed a strong interest in being involved, and was invited to come to West Wimmera to rededicate and unveil the monument. He was also guest speaker at a dinner in Harrow organised by Council.
For further information on the history of Aboriginal cricket in Australia contact Councillor Geoffrey Carracher on (03) 5386 6261 or the West Wimmera Shire Council Chief Executive Officer, Rex Mooney, on (03) 5585 9900.