Above: Narrabri’s Atkinson family, of which Australian international cricketer Mitchell Starc is a member, donated wool to ‘Flock to Baggy Green’ which is a project that will help create the baggy greens worn by Australian international cricket representatives for the next 100 years. Pictured are Annie, Maddie, Trevor, Betty, Frank and Ben Atkinson.
Future generations of Australia’s international test cricket teams will be proudly wearing their baggy green caps made with Narrabri wool.
Local farmer Trevor Atkinson travelled to Adelaide last month with his wife Annie.
There they attended days one and two of the first of four international cricket test matches played between Australia and India this summer.
Trevor is the uncle of Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc who played in that test match at the Adelaide Oval.
While it was an added bonus to have the chance to watch his nephew play at one of Australia’s iconic cricketing venues, Trevor and Annie were
actually attending the match for another reason.
Trevor and his parents Frank and Betty Atkinson (Mitchell’s grandparents) are part of a well-known local woolgrowing family.
Betty’s grandfather John Henry Melbourne took up his homestead selection in the foothills of the Nandewar ranges to the east of Narrabri some time in the 1800s, and first registered a stock brand for the property in 1895.
The family has been there ever since.
They now run a mixed farming operation of Merino ewes, Poll Dorset, and Texel studs, beef cattle, winter cropping (wheat, barley, chickpeas, faba beans) and summer grains.
The family takes great pride in cheering on Mitchell every time he takes the field for Australia.
But the Atkinsons now have more than just a family connection to the Australian cricket team.
They are one of more than 400 woolgrowers who have donated wool to Flock to Baggy Green.
Flock to Baggy Green is a unique project that combines the Australian wool industry through The Woolmark Company, Cricket Australia and iconic cricket brand Kookaburra to create special baggy green cloth made from wool donated from right across Australia.
Australian woolgrowers were invited to donate some of their wool to help create the next batch of Baggy Green caps as part of The Flock to Baggy Green project.
In total, more than 400 woolgrowers have donated wool to the project and the total volume has come to about 500 kilograms.
That is enough wool to cap the next 100 years of Australian Test cricketers in donated Australian wool.