Fast bowler Scott Boland became only the fourth indigenous Australian cricketer following his debut against England in the Boxing Day Ashes Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground. The 32-year-old scripted a fairytale beginning as Australia stunned England, riding on his figures of 6/7 in the second innings to bowl the visitors out for a mere 68 runs.
Scott Boland, the right-arm pacer, hails from the Gulidjan tribe located in western Victoria. Before Boland, only three indigenous cricketers in Jason Gillespie, Ashleigh Gardner, and Faith Thomas have represented Australia in Test cricket.
Boland was called up as an injury cover after the second Ashes Test and made it to the starting XI with Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser and Josh Hazlewood missing out. The right-arm pacer picked one wicket in the first innings and followed it up with a stunning six-wicket haul in the second innings of the match.
In doing so, he became the joint-fastest pacer in Test history alongside Australia's Ernie Toshack and England's Stuart Broad to claim a fifer, with all the wickets coming in just 19 balls.
Who are indigenous Australian cricketers?
Indigenous Australian cricketers come from the families that lived in Australia before the British colonization. People coming from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are referred to as indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians are also known as First Nations of Australia, First Peoples of Australia and First Australians.
Faith Thomas was the first indigenous cricketer to play for Australia. She made her debut in 1958 and was the only women indigenous Australian until 2019 when Ashleigh Gardner made her Test debut against England in 2019.
Before her, Jason Gillespie was the first male cricketer to don the Baggy Green. Gillespie, considered as one of the finest bowlers of his generation, played 71 Tests for Australia, picking 259 wickets.
Overall, there are six indigenous players, including Dan Christian and D’Arcy Short, who have represented Australia, but only Boland and Gillespie have played in the longest format.
Featured photo: AFP / Hamish Blair