Aboriginal wood artefacts are the centrepieces of the two new trophies, to be awarded to the winners of Adelaide Strikers’ BBL and WBBL games against the Perth Scorchers in Alice Springs on Saturday, 13 January.
Thomas, a South Australian, was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person to represent Australia in cricket, in 1958, and Gillespie was the first man of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent to play Test cricket for Australia, making his debut in 1996.
The Faith Thomas Trophy features digging sticks that are used, mostly by women, to harvest bush foods and meats and is a testament to women’s strength and ingenuity in the traditional Arrernte community.
The Jason Gillespie Trophy highlights warrior number seven boomerangs that are used in times of warfare. They represent the two BBL teams coming together and battling on the sporting field.
Gillespie, the current coach of the Adelaide Strikers men’s team, made his first-class debut for South Australia in 1995 and played 71 Tests for Australia. The fast bowler took 259 wickets, with a highest score of 201 not out. He also played 97 one-day internationals.
“It’s very humbling … you never expect things like that to come your way,” Gillespie said.
“Aunty Faith is a ripper … it’s a great honour for her, too. To have a trophy named after you is pretty special.”
Both trophies were crafted by Arrernte man Joel Liddle, using mainly mulga wood.
In future seasons, the trophies will be played for whenever the Adelaide Strikers play a home match against the Perth Scorchers.