As a teenager Jonte Pattison ventured into the senior ranks at Newcastle district club Toronto and this fortnight he will live out some of his boyhood dreams on a historic tour with the Australian Aboriginal cricket team to the United Kingdom.
Not only will the leg-spinner, part of the Wiradjuri tribe, have the opportunity to follow in the 150-year-old footsteps of the country’s first sporting group to travel overseas but that also means playing at famed venues such as The Oval and Arundel Castle.
“It’s a pretty big occasion and not just your normal trip over to England,” the Central Coast-bred 21-year-old said.
“It’s quite meaningful and represents something we’re all pretty proud of. Great to be part of it. Everyone that watches cricket wants to play at The Oval and we’re lucky enough to get the chance.”
Each player in the anniversary squad, led by Big Bash League star and former one-day international all-rounder Dan Christian, has been allocated a name from that original 1868 Indigenous side.
The 2015 Australian under-19 squad member, current NSW Indigenous representative and now Sydney-based Northern Districts player will be called Redcap, or more traditionally Brimbunyah.
Former Cardiff-Boolaroo marquee Jeff Cook is the coach. Wallsend captain and NSW Indigenous skipper Nathan Price recently withdrew from the tour.
A women’s squad, including Anna Bay’s Jemma Astley, will also play.
Pattison departs Friday with the first game against the MCC set for June 5.
Over the following week they meet county sides Surrey (June 7), Sussex (June 8), Derbyshire (June 10) and Nottinghamshire (June 12).
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