Talented local cricketer Tyran Liddiard thought he was just filming a documentary on Indigenous cricketers in Australia when he received a phone call that brought he and his family to tears.
Recently, Cricket Australia sent a cameraman and journalist to Liddiard’s Werrington home to interview him about Indigenous cricketers. During the shoot, Liddiard and his family were sitting around the dinner table when the reporter took a phone call midway though filming.
“We thought him taking a phone call during dinner was a bit rude at first but then he said the call was actually for me,” Liddiard told the Weekender.
“So I answered the phone and the person on the other end of the line told me I’d been selected in the men’s Aboriginal XI squad to tour England this June.
“The cameras were rolling when I was told the news and everyone was a ‘mess’. My family was so happy for me and very emotional.”
Labelling it the “biggest achievement” of his cricket career so far, the 20-year-old will fly all the way to the other side of the world in June for a commemorative tour of England that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured the UK.
The tour will feature a total of nine matches against Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire, Notinghamshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club, and will be played at some of the grounds that hosted the original team of Aboriginal pioneers 150 years ago.
The 1868 side became the first Australian team in any sport to tour internationally when they played 47 matches across England during a six-month period.
In a special tribute to those pioneers, each member of the 2018 men’s team have been linked to a 1868 player and will sport the name of that player on the back of their uniform.
“To represent my country is something I’ve wanted to do since I started playing cricket, and to be able to do it playing for my culture and family is something I’m very proud of,” Liddiard said.
“To be able to make this historic team and travel to England will be unbelievable. It almost takes my breath away thinking about it.”
The Aboriginal XI will open the tour against Marylebone at Arundel Castle, while the highlight of the campaign will be a double header at The Oval on June 7.
The Penrith Cricket Club member, who will wicket-keep on tour, said he can’t wait to mix it with the best Indigenous cricketers in the country.
“I’ve worked really hard this year and all that hard work has paid off. This will be my first time overseas and it’s going to be a huge opportunity to play with such talented cricketers,” he said.
“I’ve got to thank my Mum and Dad for helping me get to where I am today. Dad gave me a pair of cricket gloves when I was nine and I fell in love with the sport straight away.”
The documentary Liddiard was involved in will continue filming in the UK and will be released at the conclusion of the tour.
Nathan Taylor is the Western Weekender’s award-winning sports journalist. Nathan is also the Weekender’s Deputy Editor.