The ACT Cricket Under 15s side head to the National Championships in Darwin this week, fielding what could almost be known as a World XI.
Fourteen different backgrounds will come together under the ACT banner, as the thirteen man squad chases the national title.
Coupled with the success of foreign players on the Australian scene, the multicultural make-up of the squad could be a launching pad for the game to grow in the nation’s capital.
Quinten Moffatt will don the gloves in Darwin, and the wicketkeeper hopes that this side will inspire people with non-traditional cricket playing backgrounds to take up Australia’s national game.
“It just shows that you can play cricket, from any origin, no matter which country you’re from. We all love cricket and we’re from different spots and we hope that it spreads.”
Of Guyanese and Indian heritage, Moffatt believes that the range of cultures in the team are an indication of how cricket can bring a community together.
“People say Canberra is a small community, but it’s just diverse. There’s a lot of different backgrounds, and it just brings everyone close together.
“You just get to learn about many of your team mates and you get to become good friends with them.”
The chirpy youngster was born in to a family with an undeniable passion for the game, something that he quickly inherited.
“My Dad is a West Indian. One of the first things he taught me when I could hold objects was to hold a cricket bat.
“I started hitting balls around when I was three or four, so it just kept going from there.”
Team manager Darryle Macdonald believes that the side reflects the changing face of Australian society.
“It’s very culturally diverse, and we celebrate that. It’s an indication that the boys get on really well, it does reflect what happens within our society – I think generally we all get on pretty well.”
The players were given a chance to celebrate their heritage as they played host to the New South Wales Under 15s this past fortnight.
“Last weekend we hosted the NSW 15s side in a game at Radford [College]. We thought that they could all bring their own culture’s dish, so we got a very multicultural menu for the lunches”, said Macdonald.
The Wests/UC legend believes that having such a multicultural representative side bodes well for the future of the game in the ACT.
“It means more people are playing cricket. We’ve got a lot of different cultures playing and not such a reliance on the Anglo factor, and that’s a good thing.
“We are all pretty aware of how much the Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans love their cricket, and there is certainly a fair bit of that influence in the Canberra community.”
The Squad: Jay Allen (Thailand), Justin Burden (Australian/Thailand), Siddharth Girish (Indian), Nick Groenewegen (Australian – Dutch/Scottish migrant lineage), Nikesh Joseph (Indian/Sri Lankan), Daniel Leerdam (Malaysian/Australian), Praveen Mathai (Indian), Seraman Mayooran (Sri Lankan), Jordie Misic (Croatian/Serbian – English/Australian), Quinten Moffatt (Guyanese/Indian), Josh Myburgh (South African), Esam Rahman (Australian/Bangladeshi), Sam Taylor (Australian – Irish/English migrant lineage). Coach: Kyle Piper; Manager: Darryle Macdonald
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA