As Tim Paine leads the Australian cricket team from the pitch for the tea break in this week’s first test of summer, the next chapter of the iconic baggy green will be honoured.
What started with a love of the game has now seen 450 woolgrowers from across Australia donate more than 500 kilograms of wool to the Flock to Baggy Green project – a joint project between Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) marketing arm The Woolmark Company and Cricket Australia.
Today about 130 of those wool growers who have donated wool will watch on as AWI’s new chair Colette Garnsey hands over to Cricket Australia enough baggy green fabric to cap the next 100 years of test cricketers: men, women and junior teams.
“It’s taken three years from concept to handing the cloth over this week,” project manager Marius Cuming said.
“The reason why Stephen Feighan and I have driven this project for AWI is all about claiming something for our industry. We wanted to do something symbolic and as soon as we found out the baggy green was made from wool we jumped on it and wanted all woolgrowers to help cap our best players into the future.
“I am an absolute cricket fanatic – I coach the under-14 team, still play and I’m the president of the local Grampians Cricket Club so as a woolgrower and donor to the baggy green, this means a lot to me.”
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. The game has formed a vital part of the fabric of rural communities, with sheep stations many years ago having their own cricket teams and cricketing heroes past and present having had connections to the wool industry including Mitchell Starc who has family growing wool at Narrabri and Allan Border’s father was a woolclasser.
- Visit flocktobaggygreen.com.au to see the donors.