Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander cricket reigned supreme this week at Queensland Cricket as the organisation celebrated the achievements of Indigenous cricketers throughout the State and reflected on work undertaken in pursuit of reconciliation and opportunity.
In line with this year’s NAIDOC Week theme: "Because of her, we can!", Queensland Bulls prodigy Brendan Doggett reflected on the impact his mum has had on his development both in cricket and culture.
“Mum has always had a lot to do with my cricket,'' he said.
"When I first started playing at age 7, my Dad would take my brother as he took it a little more seriously and Mum would take me to all my games.
"Even now as a professional cricketer it’s so important to me to be able to go home to Mum and Dad and driving back up the range to Toowoomba makes me feel at home.
"In terms of culture, Mum always knew we were Indigenous and a few years ago she really started to get right into the research of where we had come from. She got the opportunity to meet with elders from the Worimi people and they have shared some unbelievable stories with us.”
Earlier this year Brendan was part of a tour which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the 1868 tour of the UK in which an all-Indigenous side travelled by sea to play a 47 match tour of the counties.
On this commemorative trip, Brendan was part of another all-Indigenous squad that would tour and play cricket, each squad member representing a member from the original 1868 team.
Brendan represented a player called “Two Penny”, a prolific bowler who on that tour took 35 wickets at an average of 4.00.
Brendan recalls the tour as an huge step forward for the profile of Indigenous cricket and sport in general. “It was an amazing opportunity, something that I’ll never forget. Being able to head to the resting place of King Cole and recreate some of the images at Lords using the artefacts the team took over in 1868 was unbelievable”.
The trip was made all the more special by being able to share the trip with his brother Teddy who was also a part of the team, as well as his parents who travelled over in support.
“The tour meant a lot to Mum, she saw what the tour meant to Indigenous people and so she wanted to be there. She was so proud, she took her own Aboriginal flag to Lords and hung it up at every game.”
Whilst Indigenous representation in the elite levels of cricket is still growing, the future of Indigenous cricket is bright according to Brendan who, along with the entire Queensland Bulls squad, hosted a training session for young talented Indigenous cricketers as a part of the Bulls Big Week recently.
“There’s crazy talent out there and it’s all going to be discovered in time if keep getting out there and continue to raise awareness of Indigenous athletes and spend time in the community.”