WOOL growers have handed the Australian cricket team enough woollen cloth to make the prized baggy green caps for the next 100 years.
At the Adelaide Oval last week, about 12o growers led by Australian Wool Innovation chair Colette Garnsey handed over the fabric to Cricket Australia following a nationwide campaign for wool donations.
The baggy green cap, made from 100 percent Australian wool, is worn by Australian Test cricketers and is seen as the highest honour a player can receive. Australian cricketers first started wearing what became known as the baggy green in 1899, when captained by Joe Darling — a tough middle order batsman, wool grower and pastoralist from South Australia.
South Australian Merino breeder and Australian champion blade shearer John Dalla donated the first fleece to the Flock to Baggy Green project and was on hand in Adelaide with other growers when the new fabric was handed over during the tea interval at the First Test of the summer.
He said it was good to be a part of the project and to know that the caps “for a long time” would continue to be made from wool, rather than a synthetic material.
Ms Garnsey handed Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings the baggy green cloth, enough to cap the next 100 years of Australian test cricketers, AWI said.
The cloth was created as part of the Flock to Baggy Green project and donated by 450 wool growers from across Australia and forms 1000 lineal metres of fabric with an average fibre diameter of 20 microns.
All donors to the project have been placed on a map of Australia on the dedicated website www.flocktobaggygreen.com.au where From Flock to Baggy Green by renowned cricket writer Gideon Haigh outlines the strong and lasting bonds between cricket and wool.
AWI general manager operations Nigel Gosse said the work with Cricket Australia was part of AWI’s commitment to its fibre advocacy program.
“Flock to Baggy Green has created a lasting legacy from the wool growers of Australia to Australian cricket, adding to the history and provenance of one of our nation’s most significant sporting icons.
“Cricket-loving wool growers from the outback to the coast, from large pastoral holdings to small family businesses have all answered the call to help grow the Baggy Green,” Mr Gosse said.
“All have donated some of the natural fibre they grow with passion to help make our most sacred sporting icon.
“At AWI our role is to increase the long-term profitability of Australian wool growers and to advocate for the natural fibre domestically and overseas,” he said.
“This fabric has been grown on more than 450 properties across Australian and donated by cricket loving wool growers which adds to the history and provenance of one of our nation’s most significant sporting icons.
“The presentation creates a lasting legacy from the wool growers of Australia to Australian cricket.”
The Flock to Baggy Green project brought together the Australian wool industry, Cricket Australia and Kookaburra to create special baggy green cloth made from wool donated from across Australia. Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings said the project will continue to build the meaning of the baggy green cap for Australian cricketers.
“Australian cricket is shared and loved across Australia. Likewise, the Australian wool industry has a played a pivotal part in the Australian way of life, so to combine the two gives the baggy green bap fantastic meaning for future Australian Test cricketers,” Mr Eddings said.
“Our future Test cricketers can wear their caps with pride, knowing wool growers from around the country have contributed to its creation.”
All wool donors will be receiving a sample of the cloth and a copy of From Flock to Baggy Green as a keepsake.
Click here to see where all the donors came from across Australia.