Melbourne Renegades all-rounder Dan Christian has unveiled new Indigenous artwork for his bat in the Big Bash League (BBL).
The 35-year-old worked closely with artist Emma MacNeill to adorn his Kookaburra blade with her work.
Christian hit 25-runs off 13 balls with the bat but he says he’ll retire it after the one knock.
The original will now take pride of place in Christian’s home but he will continue showcasing the artwork which has been replicated on stickers produced by Kookaburra.
Fellow Indigenous BBL players Ash Gardner and D’Arcy Short also appreciate the designs and Christian is talking to their bat sponsors to see if similar stickers can be made.
MacNeill’s work helped Christian in his bid to promote Indigenous culture in Australia’s domestic T20 competition.
“It’s something I’ve been pretty keen to have done for a while,” Christian said. “I’m pretty proud of my heritage, so it’s nice to be able to reflect that in some small way.”
The popular batsman has been a vocal supporter of bringing an Indigenous round to the BBL and he says Cricket Australia (CA) are considering the idea for next season, despite CA withholding comment at this stage.
Head of Big Bash Leagues Kim McConnie didn’t hint at a specific Indigenous round for the BBL but pointed to the initiative in Alice Springs the last two seasons, which was an Indigenous themed one-off match.
“We fully support Dan on his journey to promote cricket in the Indigenous community and inspire young Indigenous Australians to pick up the bat and ball more often,” McConnie said.
Christian is supportive of the work CA are doing in the Indigenous community but is adamant the full Indigenous round is the way to go.
“I’m very strong on it,” he said. “We’ve seen the success of it in the AFL and the NRL, and even that one game we play up in Alice Springs every year [was great] – last year the Strikers and Scorchers [match] was received really well up there.”
The Renegades are equal second with four other teams on the BBL ladder in a tight 2018/19 competition.
By Keiran Deck