Australia Post will release a special series of commemorative stamps to celebrate 150 years of the 1868 Aboriginal cricket team’s first international sporting tour to the UK. It was also the first international tour by an Australian team in any sport. They played 47 matches against county and local teams in England for six months. It is commendable to note that they started playing the new game in 1864 and four years later, they drew with English in their national sport.
The first stamp in the series was released on 1st May. It depicts 10 Aboriginal members of the original 1868 team. Coach and mentor Charles Lawrence, along with team manager W Shepherd are also present in the picture. The stamp features player portraits from one of the few remaining photos of the Aboriginal XI, currently showcased at the National Library of Australia. The background features the traditional fence of the Lord’s ground in England. Many matches were played on unused fields.
A cover envelope was also released, depicting a picture of the 1866 match between Aboriginal XI and the Melbourne Cricket Club that was played at the MCG. A boomerang and bat cap pin from Lawrence's memorabilia collection is also pictured on the envelope.
Image Courtesy: Australia Post