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Listen to Episode Nine of the Voice of Real Australia podcast: Pale, male and stale: Where are all our Indigenous cricketers?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a long and complicated relationship with cricket. A team of First Nations players was the first team ever to tour England in 1868. Indigenous fast bowler Eddie Gilbert got Donald Bradman out for a duck. But policies of Protectionism and assimilation whitewashed the sport, excluding First Nations people in Australia's favourite game.

Dan Christian of The Australian Indigenous Men's cricket team. PHOTO: Darrian Traynor (Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Dan Christian of The Australian Indigenous Men's cricket team. PHOTO: Darrian Traynor (Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Today there is a clear underrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in cricket, especially when compared it with AFL and NRL. There's only been one Aboriginal man who represented Australia in men's Test cricket, Jason Gillespie, and he's now retired. Over the years, overtly and covertly, cricket has fostered its designation as a white man's game.

Cricket as a game and its legacy, which is quite colonial, has historically been really racist.

Dr Bill Fogarty

In recent years, however, there's been a push to involve more First Nations people in cricket. Indigenous pathways programs and competitions have been set up. But is it enough? And why is it only happening now?

Uncle Ivan Wellington of the Dharawal people leads welcome to country at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander T20 Cup in Campbelltown. PHOTO: David Gavin (Cricket NSW)

Uncle Ivan Wellington of the Dharawal people leads welcome to country at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander T20 Cup in Campbelltown. PHOTO: David Gavin (Cricket NSW)

We speak to cricket players and fanatics about why the disparity exists. And how can we make sure Australia's national past time properly reflects the countless stories and experiences that make up this country.

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This story How cricket is addressing its pale, male and stale reputation first appeared on Newcastle Herald.