Young Indigenous cricketers take a bash at the big league


Indigenous and multicultural players have figured prominently in newly created community cricket scholarships offered by Big Bash cricket franchises.

The big-names of the Big Bash League were on hand to launch the 2013-14 competition.

A few metres away, recently announced community scholarship winners took to the sand and took on the kids.

The merit-based scholarships enable players from diverse backgrounds to experience elite cricket first-hand.  

Indigenous player Hayden Collard hails from outback Western Australia and expects to learn plenty from his Scorchers scholarship.

"Especially off Natan Coulter-Nile 'cos he's quick, I'd love to learn a few things off him batting-wise," Hayden Collard says. "Katich or the two Marsh boys, it'd be good to learn off them."

"They're in the rooms to learn not just the skills of the game but how to conduct yourself in the rooms at that level," Cricket Australia's executive general manager, Mike McKenna says.

Related: First Aussie cricket team to tour England was Indigenous

Scholarship holders Ben Abbatangelo and Ryan Lees hope the program will help more young indigenous players transition to elite squads.

"It can be done," says Ben Abbatangelo."We've seen it with footy. We've seen it with NRL. But we're yet to really see it with cricket so hopefully with these type of contracts, we can produce the goods and we can create a good impression."

"I think it's important to show Indigenous kids growing up that they can do well in the cricket world," Ryan Lees says.

Source SBS

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