An annual tradition between the two sides, the strikingly beautiful award was first handed out on 13 January 2018 and has been fiercely but fairly fought for each season since in a contest that celebrates Indigenous culture.
Gillespie spoke ahead of the fixture with pride, not simply because the stunning piece of craftsmanship bears his name, but because of what the artefacts represent.
‘Myself and my family are so proud to be recognised in this way; you never expect this sort of thing and I am very thankful. What I believe is most important is for everyone to be open and receptive to the conversations that arise in this space.
I heard [Renegades quick] Josh Lalor talk about his experiences recently and I was just so impressed and supportive of the way he spoke. In life, we always have the opportunity to improve and be better, and I hope that fixtures like this, our Indigenous Round clash against Perth, can help to encourage those positive conversations.”
The Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers will come together before the first ball of the game tonight to form a traditional Barefoot Circle on the playing surface. The Strikers players and staff held open and honest discussions about how to show their support for the elimination of racism in the lead-up to the clash, something Gillespie was delighted to be a part of.
‘I am honoured to lead a team of diverse young men from different cultures and backgrounds. I am so proud of our players and support staff that we were able to come together as a team and have a healthy and robust discussion on this incredibly important issue.”
The Jason Gillespie Trophy highlights warrior number seven boomerangs that are used in times of warfare and were crafted by Arrernte man Joel Liddle, using mainly mulga wood. They represent the two BBL teams coming together and battling on the sporting field.
Gillespie, a proud Indigenous Australian, made his first-class debut for South Australia in 1995 and played 71 Tests and 97 One Day Internationals for Australia. The fast bowler took 259 wickets and holds a remarkable highest score of 201 not out.