• Australia's first Indigenous Women's Cricket squad before its first game of its inaugural tour of India. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
COMMENT | It may not ever appear on Wikipedia, or even be an obscure trivia night question, but I was honoured to have played a small part in a little bit of Australian sporting history this week.
By
Natalie Ahmat

Source:
NITV News
23 May 2016 - 7:08 PM  UPDATED 23 May 2016 - 7:15 PM

You see, I was given the honour and privilege of handing out the caps to Australia's first Indigenous Women's Cricket squad before the first game of their inaugural tour of India.

The trip is the first of its kind for an Indigenous women's team - and comes 148 years after an all-Aboriginal men's team became the first Australian sports team to tour overseas, when they visited the United Kingdom in 1868.

New Delhi welcomes first female First Nations women's cricket team
The inaugural National Indigenous Women's Cricket team kick-off their 10-day tour of India.

More recently, Indigenous men's teams have toured internationally, and now 14 of our best First Nations female cricketers have been given the same opportunity.

I was lucky enough to be invited to travel with the squad to cover the historic 10 day sporting and cultural tour, both in my capacity as a journalist for NITV and as a member of Cricket Australia's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee (NATSICAC), which I joined earlier this year.

That's how I found myself standing in 35-degrees heat at seven thirty in the morning at the Jaypee Ground in Noida, India, presenting the playing caps to a remarkable group of young role models.

The teams coach, Shelley Nitschke understands better than most what it means to receive your first national representative cap.

The former ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year and four time Australian Women's Cricketer of the Year made her international debut in 2004, and played in six Tests, 80 ODIs and 36 Twenty20s.

"It's such an honour for you to be able to represent your country at any sport, and you guys being in the first women's Indigenous cricket team, no one can ever take that away from you," she told the players before their first game.

"You're representing your country but you are also representing your people," she said.

The teams vice captain, Sally Moylan, echoed her coach's sentiments.

"Being an Aboriginal and being able to stand here today in another country, that's also got a fair bit of culture, is a big thing," said Sally, an all rounder who hails from Wellington in New South Wales.

Photos: Inaugural Indigenous women's cricket tour of India
NITV is on tour with the first ever National Indigenous Women's Cricket team as they make their way around the subcontinent.

"This is hopefully the start of something really special. What we do here today and this tour sets us up for the future, and also being able to inspire future and fellow Aboriginal players to continue a pathway into cricket," she said.

Unfortunately, the teams first match, a T20 against a men's team from the Yuvraj Singh Cricket Academy, did not go their way, as the girls bravely battled the slow Indian pitch, as well as the intense heat, which soared to the mid-40s before the game was through.

But there was enough positives in the match to suggest the team is not far off their first victory, given a few more days to acclimatise to the weather and playing conditions.

And, with five more games to left play in this tour, hopefully, next time I write, it will be to say I've witnessed a second piece of Australian and Indigenous sporting history.

NITV's Natalie Ahmat is in India covering the National Indigenous Women's Cricket team's tour.

First Indigenous women’s cricket team are flying out to tour in India
It's an historic day for Indigenous women's cricket and NITV will be touring with the women.