Former Warrnambool indigenous artist Fiona Clarke's celebrated design, Walkabout Wickets, will gain further international exposure this summer when it features on the Australian men's T20 cricket team shirts for their series against India.
It will mark the first time an indigenous jersey has been worn by an Australian men's team, following the lead of the women's side in a match against England earlier this year.
Clarke's Walkabout Wickets artwork was originally launched in 2016 to commemorate the First X1 Aboriginal cricket side's 1866 MCG debut match and subsequent history-making UK tour in 1868.
"I'm pretty excited that it's going to be worn for the T20 series," Clarke said. "This was a real surprise to me."
The design was used on the collars of the Aussie Test shirts during last year's Ashes and has also found its way onto stumps, balls, a huge silk banner and even stamps.
Walkabout Wickets features predominantly on the front of the new-look shirts, continuing the story of Indigenous players in the history of cricket.
The shirt, commissioned by Cricket Australia (CA), is a collaboration between Clarke and CA's indigenous engagement specialist, Courtney Hagen.
I'm pretty excited that it's going to be worn for the T20 series.Fiona Clarke
Clarke's great great-grandfather, Jimmy 'Mosquito' Couzens and his brother Johnny Cuzens, were members of the First X1 team who toured England. Of the 47 matches they played, including on London's hallowed Lord's turf, they managed 14 wins, 14 losses and 19 draws,
The artist, who lived most of her life in Warrnambool before relocating to Melbourne several years ago, said she never imagined her Walkabout Wickets design would be used beyond the First X1's 150th commemorations.
"I'm really rapt that it's been taken up as a symbol of indigenous cricket history," the Kirrae Whurrong woman said.
The Walkabout Wickets artwork represents past, present and future Aboriginal cricketers with the large circle symbolising Lord's where the First X1 played and the smaller circles the team's meeting places during that 1868 tour.
Hagen, herself a cricketer, said it was an honour to collaborate with Clarke on the shirt design.
"This is a great opportunity for cricket to continue sharing stories about the rich contribution First Nations people have made in the sport, starting with the 1868 Cricket team," she said.
The Aussie men will don the jerseys on December 4 in the first of the three-match T20 series against India at Canberra's Manuka Oval.
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