Looks like Custard will be doing some work helping Cricket Victoria over the upcoming summer on community cricket, particularly in indigenous communities around Victoria. Above is a promo video made for Cricket Australia on indigenous cricket by Carbon Media who produced the doco “From the Ashes” (trailer here) on the recent indigenous Australian Team to tour the UK, retracing the steps of the 1868 team.
Had fun catching up with the Police and Fire-ies at Victoria University in Footscray yesterday with cricket the vehicle to promote safety and harmony with international students. Full Report here. Commissioner Overland had obviously worked on his batting since our last hit out on Australia/Indian Republic Day!
Having had some pretty difficult issues to face over the last two years with regards to violence and problems in the international student ‘industry’ it was good to see some goodwill and see that some progress has been made. This has been symbolised in the final match of the season for Urban Seed’s Credo ‘Indian Tiger’s’ Indoor Cricket Team which has been playing in the Footscray area over the last two seasons as a way of supporting students and even won a grand final. Vegetarian Pizza seemed like a nice way to finish before the outdoor cricket season commences proper. We are hopeful that more newly arrived students will be able to connect with local cricket clubs as a result.
I had a great trip to Gunditjmara Country in Western Victoria last week, kindly hosted by the long term organiser of the Johnny Mullagh XI Cricket Team , Wayne ‘Swisha’ Bell. The team carries the tradition and some of the ancestral links to Australia’s “First XI”, the 1868 side to tour England made up of indigenous shearers and station workers from the local area.
I was drawn back to the area because of the fantastic experience I had in April, where I played a match with Urban Seed’s Credo Cricket team against the Mullagh XI on the banks of the beautiful Glenelg River at Harrow and visited the Johnny Mullagh Cricket Museum.
It was an honour to be shown around Budj Bim (Mt. Eccles), the volcano at the heart of Gunditjmara Dreaming stories and cultural identity. Swisha then took me out to Lake Condah which is presently full of water after many years without, thanks to a recent sustainable development project. The evidence of the stone hut settlements, smoked eel aquaculture and the stories and landscape of the Eumerella Wars of resistance to European settlement were a powerful and humbling eye opener for me.
Such ongoing connections to country have significantly brought Native Title recognition to the area in 2007. As a result Gunditjmara are c0-running the National Park with Parks Victoria and it was very inspiring to see young people from the local community involved in its practical day to day running whilst I was there.
I struck me that these stories and places are of huge significance for all Victorian’s and I look forward to my next cricket and cultural education adventure soon!
Check the video of Laneway Cricket getting a plug on the TODAY Show thanks to the Compton Cricket Club. A forwarding party are presently in Australia thanks to Hugh Snelgrove with view to a full tour in 2011.
Credo Cricketer, Marcus Curnow played with the team in LA in 2009 and Compton regular, John ‘The Rev’ Jensen gave a fantastic speech at our Laneway Cricket Finale earlier in the year whilst visiting Melbourne.
Credo Cricket… it stands for ‘cricket you can believe in’… ‘very believable cricket’… for weeks we have not known exactly what to blog in response to the ‘spot fixing’ scandal that has felt like such a kick in the guts for any concept of good cricket all round.
In the face of human tragedy and disillusionment folk ballads have always said it best!
We truly love a sport than can inspire such earnest dagginess and make us shed a tear in our beer!
Urban Seed’s Credo Cricket and Cricket Victoria partnered to do what they do best on Australia Day hosting a fun match between Victoria Police and Indian students who are friends of Urban Seed through our local connections with the Barkly Street Uniting Church Cricket Club and Footscray Baptist Church.
Having run a well publicised street cricket match with Police and Indian students in the city last year; in Footscray on Indian Independence Day (August 15) and at the Diwali Festival in September, the Jai Ho Festival at Myer Music Bowl (celebrating January 26 as both Australia and Indian Republic Day) proved the next perfect location to celebrate the connections that cricket can create.
Urban Seed’s Marcus Curnow said,
“Reports of street violence against Indians in Melbourne on Australia Day and reports coming from India that Australians may not be able play cricket in Mumbai are saddening and the responses of extremists. The Australia Day/ Inidan Republic Day match between Victoria Police and students is a statement that cricket should not be used to bowl hand grenades but can build partnerships that bring our nations together. No matter your background you are always welcome to play cricket in Melbourne and this is made a reality with Urban Seed running matches each week in Footscray and on city streets and through initiatives from Cricket Victoria and Harmony Australia, such as ticket giveaways and developing pathways to cricket umpiring as employment for Indian students.”
Given the profile he has had on the issue, particularly in India recently, it was fantastic to have the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Simon Overland participating in the match. The Spirit of the day was captured well in his partnership with Ravi Bhatia the CEO of Primus Telecom. Their running between the wickets was highly entertaining and went some way to demonstrating that the cultural differences between the countries could be overcome with good spirit, improved communication…and a bit of luck!
Later in the evening some Urban Seed Credo Cricketers had opportunity to keep talking cricket when they joined with locals in West Footscray at the busy Indian hub of Barkly Street Village for an Australian’s listening to Indian’s ‘Listening Post’ event organised by members of the Footscray Church of Christ.
Next Local ‘Listening Posts’
Tues 2nd Feb 8pm-10pm [meet outside Public Library on Barkly St West Footscray]
Sat 6th Feb 10am – 12pm [meet outside Subway store at end of Footscray tram line/opposite Footscray station]
Bring: some small folding chairs, Thermos and mugs, plus Indian/Australian colours and banners
Details: Greg Gow 0434 982 070 or Cara Munro 0420 418 16