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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
HISTORY OF THE BAGGY GREEN The baggy green cap, made from 100 per cent Australian wool, is worn by Australian Test cricketers and is seen as the highest honour a player can receive. Australian cricketers first started wearing what became known as the baggy green in 1899, when captained by Joe Darling: a tough middle order batsman, woolgrower and pastoralist from South Australia. With cricket being one of Australia’s largest participation sports, clubs across the country have long formed a vital part of the fabric of rural communities, with sheep stations many years ago having their own cricket teams and many cricketing heroes past and present having had connections to the wool industry. The Australian Cricket Coat of Arms, created before Australia officially existed, features a sheep, which shows the wool industry’s prominence in the Australian community when the team first formed. THANK YOU TO THE DONORS From massive outback stations, to family farms in all states, to retired farmers with a few sheep, woolgrowers from every wool- growing region rallied to put their fibre into the Flock to Baggy Green project. The love woolgrowers have for the game of cricket was reflected not only in the number of those who donated but the quality of wool. Donations included prize-winning fleeces, wool from prize-winning rams, an entire bale of superfine wool donated by South Australian woolgrower Grant Burge, and those who didn’t have wool on hand chose to sweep the woolshed for a few staples to send in long after shearing had finished. One of the more high-profile donors were Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc’s grandparents Betty and Frank Atkinson from Narromine in NSW. A young Mitch often worked in the woolshed on a broom at shearing time. The shed has the date his great uncle was found alive at Changi POW camp written in branding fluid above the shearing board; news came that he was found alive while the family was shearing in 1945. AWI is very grateful to all woolgrowers who chose to be part of this historic and unique project that has created such a legacy for the industry. MORE INFORMATION www.flocktobaggygreen.com.au AWI Chairman Colette Garnsey OAM hands Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings the next era of baggy green cloth at the Adelaide Oval in December. Australian international cricketer Mitchell Starc and woolgrower Grant Burge with a sample of the baggy green cloth, a ram and fleece at the Adelaide Oval. PHOTO Sarah Reed / Newspix OFF FARM 5
In the Shops - March 2019