Melbourne [Australia], December 28 (ANI): Johnny Mullagh, the best player of the 1868 Aboriginal team that became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally, has been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
Mullagh is considered one of the best players of his era, highlighted by taking 245 wickets at 10 and scoring 1698 runs at 23.65 during that inaugural tour. Mullagh featured in 45 of the 47 matches played during the tour.
"Johnny Mullagh and the 1868 Aboriginal team paved the way for so many future Australians to showcase their skill and talent on the world stage. To consider the team's feats were in an era dictated by inequality, makes their story even more remarkable and worthy of recognition," Peter King, Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Chairman, said in an official statement.
"The Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is proud to honour Johnny Mullagh for his contribution to Australia's cricketing history and national identity," he added.
Learning to bat with a red gum bat at Pine Hill Station in the West Wimmera region of Victoria, Mullagh will long be remembered as a pioneer of the sport, now recognised as the first Aboriginal inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
"Johnny Mullagh and 1868 team's story is one of resilience and triumph, as well as discrimination and tragedy. Mullagh represents his entire team and the special place they have in cricket's history," said Nick Hockley, interim Cricket Australia CEO.
Also, Cricket Australia (CA) has announced that the Player of the Match of the ongoing Boxing Day Test will be awarded the Mullagh Medal, named after the legendary Johnny Mullagh.
The medal is a recreation of the original belt buckle worn by the 1868 team, chosen due to Mullagh's strong connection with the MCG having played in the 1866 Boxing Day match, playing in one first-class match for Victoria against Lord Harris' XI in March 1879 and working for the MCC in 1869/70 as a ground bowler. (ANI)