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Scott Boland's dream debut adds new chapter to Indigenous cricket history

"My family would be very proud."
As if bagging a six-wicket haul in his first Test wasn't enough, Scott Boland's dream debut was even better. He was named the player of the match in the Boxing Day Test and was awarded the the Mullagh Medal, named in honour of Indigenous Australian cricketer Johnny Mullagh. His eye-opening four over burst on Tuesday morning meant he finished with the sensation (if not quite absurd) figures of 6-7 from four overs, the second best effort by any male player on debut in Melbourne and the sixth best by an Australian debutant. The 32-year-old seamer, who took four wickets in the space of three overs, including the prized scalp of England captain Joe Root, is the second Indigenous man to play for Australia. He is the fourth overall alongside Faith Thomas, Jason Gillespie and Ashleigh Gardner. Boland and his brother Nick played on the 2018 Aboriginal XI tour of the United Kingdom. That trip was in commemoration of the 150th anniversary the first Australian sporting team to tour internationally in 1868 - an all-Indigenous side. "About 17 of us went away a couple of years ago to commemorate the tour from 1868 and got to learn so much about that tour," Boland said. "My family would be very proud and I'm very proud to win this (Johnny Mullagh Medal) award." Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a long and complicated relationship with cricket. A team of First Nations players was the first team ever to tour England in 1868. Indigenous fast bowler Eddie Gilbert got Donald Bradman out for a duck. But policies of protectionism and assimilation whitewashed the sport, excluding First Nations people in Australia's favourite game. Find out more

As if bagging a six-wicket haul in his first Test wasn't enough, Scott Boland's dream debut was even better.

His eye-opening four over burst on Tuesday morning meant he finished with the sensation (if not quite absurd) figures of 6-7 from four overs, the second best effort by any male player on debut in Melbourne and the sixth best by an Australian debutant.

The 32-year-old seamer, who took four wickets in the space of three overs, including the prized scalp of England captain Joe Root, is the second Indigenous man to play for Australia.

He is the fourth overall alongside Faith Thomas, Jason Gillespie and Ashleigh Gardner.

Boland and his brother Nick played on the 2018 Aboriginal XI tour of the United Kingdom.

That trip was in commemoration of the 150th anniversary the first Australian sporting team to tour internationally in 1868 - an all-Indigenous side.

"About 17 of us went away a couple of years ago to commemorate the tour from 1868 and got to learn so much about that tour," Boland said.

"My family would be very proud and I'm very proud to win this (Johnny Mullagh Medal) award."

Pale, male and stale: Where are all our Indigenous cricketers?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a long and complicated relationship with cricket.

A team of First Nations players was the first team ever to tour England in 1868. Indigenous fast bowler Eddie Gilbert got Donald Bradman out for a duck.

But policies of protectionism and assimilation whitewashed the sport, excluding First Nations people in Australia's favourite game.

Find out more

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