Lachlan O’Connor provided an emotional insight into what it meant for him to represent his culture after helping Thunder’s Indigenous XI – presented by Homestar Finance – power to a series clean-sweep over the Hurricanes Indigenous XI.
The two teams, which represent KFC Big Bash League teams Sydney Thunder and the Hobart Hurricanes, played three matches over two days at Wade Park, Orange.
O’Connor – a descendant of the Anaiwan people from what’s now known as the New England region of NSW – was a key contributor to the triumph with rapid-fire scores of 76 not out and 71 from only 47 deliveries.
His performance in the second match was especially significant because Thunder were languishing at 5-63 when he took strike. His cool-headed performance under pressure forced the game into a super over.
He and Ben Patterson (a Wiradjuri man from Dubbo) combined to set Hobart an unassailable 19 when they were sent out to bat in the super over.
“It's a big thing for me and my family to have the opportunity to represent my heritage,” said O’Connor, as he explained why Thunder’s Indigenous XI was important to him.
“I’m grateful to get out there on the field with a good bunch of blokes who are doing their families and mobs proud as well. It's a very special couple days.”
O’Connor, who plays in Sydney’s Premier Grade competition for Fairfield- Liverpool, said he was excited by the talent, skill and discipline, of the next generation of Indigenous cricketers coming through the ranks.
“I just hope that the younger players continue to get involved and continue to keep putting their hand up for selection and that the standard of Indigenous cricket continues to rise,” he said.
Game 1 – Hurricanes Indigenous XI 7/136 (J Barry 33, C Briggs 32, B Patterson 2/27) DEF BY Thunder Indigenous XI 4/141 (L O’Connor 76*, B Patterson 47, C Briggs 3/31)
Game 2 (Super Over) – Hurricanes Indigenous XI 2/168 (B Hayes 71*, C Morse 52) & 1/6 DEF BY Thunder Indigenous XI 9/168 (O’Connor 71, T Liddiard 27, C Briggs 4/43) & 0/18
Game 3 – Thunder Indigenous XI 5/166 (Y Fair-Townsend 52, J Hartigan 41, J Barry 2/19) DEF Hurricanes Indigenous XI 8/145 (J Barry 51, D Potter 3/27)
To view the full scorecards, please click here.
Next week, the Thunder will feature in the women’s Indigenous T20 Cup at Reg Bartley Oval, Rushcutters Bay.