“Want to be a role model to encourage Indigenous kids to play cricket” - Scott Boland after Australia debut in 3rd Ashes Test

Scott Boland celebrates after taking his first Test wicket. Pic: Getty Images
Scott Boland celebrates after taking his first Test wicket. Pic: Getty Images

Australian pacer Scott Boland has admitted that becoming only the second Indigenous man to play Test cricket for the country "means a lot". Boland asserted that he wants to be a role model who can encourage Indigenous kids to play cricket.

32-year-old Boland made his Test debut in the third Ashes encounter against England on Boxing Day. The pacer had earlier featured in 14 ODIs and three T20Is, the last of which was in 2016.

While Pat Cummins (3/36) and Nathan Lyon (3/36) dominated proceedings for Australia with the ball, Boland had a decent Test debut, claiming 1 for 48 as England were skittled out for 185.

Speaking after the opening day’s play in Melbourne, Boland said he is hopeful of the Aboriginals in cricket becoming big one day. The debutant stated:

"It means a lot to join a pretty small club and hopefully it's just the start for the Indigenous community. I just want to be a role model to encourage Indigenous kids to want to play cricket.”

Boland added:

"The Indigenous community in AFL (Australian Rules) and rugby is so big and hopefully one day Aboriginals in cricket can be just as big."

The pace bowler was named as injury cover in the Australian squad after the second Test. However, the hosts picked him in the playing XI while confirming the squad for the Boxing Day Test.

Boland hails from the Gulidjan tribe in western Victoria state. He is the first Indigenous male cricketer to play for Australia since Jason Gillespie, who played his last Test in 2006.

Baggy Green No.463.Congratulations Scott Boland! #Ashes

Two female Indigenous cricketers, Faith Thomas and Ashleigh Gardner, have also represented Australia in Test matches.

“Was really excited when the finger went up” - Scott Boland on maiden Test scalp

Australia finish on a high despite losing David Warner late in the day.#AUSvENG | #WTC23 |

Boland claimed his maiden Test wicket on Day 1 of the Boxing Day encounter when he trapped Mark Wood lbw for 6 in the 56th over of England’s first innings. Wood went for a review but the on-field decision stood.

Asked to share his emotions on getting his first Test wicket, Boland said:

"Obviously I was really excited when the finger went up. I was so happy and all my teammates really got around me... (that) made it really special."

After England were bowled out for 185, Australia reached 61 for 1 at stumps. Although David Warner (38 off 42) perished to James Anderson, the hosts only trail by 124 runs with nine wickets in hand.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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