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India vs Australia: Ajinkya Rahane Becomes First Recipient of Prestigious Australian Medal

Ajinkya Rahane (Source: AP)

Ajinkya Rahane (Source: AP)

It was a memorable day for Ajinkya Rahane as not only he led India to a comprehensive win in the MCG Test, but also became the first recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mullagh Medal. The medal is a tribute to honour Australia’s first sporting team to tour internationally. Mullagh was also the leader of the 1868 aboriginal tour to UK. Mullagh took 245 wickets at an average of 10.00 and scored 1,698 runs at 23.65 in 45 matches during the 47-match tour.

It was a memorable day for Ajinkya Rahane as not only he led India to a comprehensive win in the MCG Test, but also became the first recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mullagh Medal. The medal is a tribute to honour Australia’s first sporting team to tour internationally. Mullagh was also the leader of the 1868 aboriginal tour to UK. Mullagh took 245 wickets at an average of 10.00 and scored 1,698 runs at 23.65 in 45 matches during the 47-match tour.

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Rahane led from the front and scored 112 and 27 not out to take India to the finish line. Moreover he was also praised for his style of captaincy after India had slumped to a shameful defeat in the first Test at Adelaide. Other than that there were useful contributions from every player from the Indian team.

Hall of Fame Chairman Peter King said the selection panel had modified its criteria to allow Mullagh to be inducted given he never represented Australia in Tests. “I think in this case, Cricket Australia, the players association and the Hall of Fame itself wanted to acknowledge the impact Indigenous players have had on the game,” King told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.

“This was probably a bit of an oversight, in retrospect, and I think we have chosen Johnny as a representative of that era as opposed to going back trying to individualise the individual inductees.”

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Australian cricket has belatedly made efforts to recognise Indigenous players and open pathways for talent into the elite levels but only former pace bowler Jason Gillespie has represented the country in Tests in the men’s game. Other Australian sports have been more successful in tapping Indigenous talent, with Indigenous players prevalent in professional Australian Rules football and rugby league.

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