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Boxing Day Test honours indigenous players

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Melissa Woods

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland is hoping that an upcoming commemorative tour of England will encourage another indigenous player into the Test ranks.

Australia hasn't had an indigenous player since fast bowler Jason Gillespie, who played his last Test in 2006.

This year's Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan will honour the 150th anniversary of a match between an Aboriginal XI and the Melbourne Cricket Club at the MCG.

The commemorations will continue through to 2018 when men's and women's indigenous teams will tour England to retrace the steps of an Aboriginal XI, which in 1868 became the first cricket team from Australia to tour internationally.

At the MCG to unveil some commemorative artwork by Aboriginal artist Fiona Clarke that will be used in the celebrations, Sutherland said he'd like to see another indigenous player break into the Test arena before too long.

There are six men and two women of indigenous heritage contracted to state and Big Bash League teams.

"Jason Gillespie was the last one to wear the baggy green cap and we would love to see an indigenous Australian man or woman come through to the Test stage," Sutherland said.

"There's some players not too far away so hopefully through the course of summer someone will put their hand up."

Sutherland said the challenges were lack of access and competition as well as creating aspiration, but he hoped the upcoming tour would encourage more indigenous players into the game.

There has already been a 40 per cent increase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders participating in cricket between 2014/15 and 2015/16.

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