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  • Writer's pictureAslam Abdullah

Scott Boland: Lessons for Muslims to learn from the Australian Cricketer

Scott Michael Boland (born April 11, 1989), an Australian cricketer in headlines, recently discovered that his grandfather, John Edward, was Aboriginal. Boland embraced his indigenous heritage, started playing in indigenous representative teams, and educated himself on indigenous traditions. He owned his people and their history.

On December 27, 2021, Boland capturing six wickets for seven runs on his debut for Australia proudly dedicated his victory to his people. He promised to work with youngsters in their future growth.

He did not bring his specific tribal identity into the discussion. Instead, he owned the aborigines, history, and culture despite their differences and cultural variations.

Indigenous Australians comprise 3.3% of Australia's population. The term includes many distinct peoples who have lived across Australia for thousands of years. They have a shared genetic history.

From the 1780s, when white Christian settlers started arriving at the continent, British soldiers, the police, and the settlers have orchestrated over 350 known massacres until November 2021. No one knows the number of people killed by white settlers. When the settlers arrived, the local population was about 750,000. By 1920 the white supremacists reduced it to about 120,000. According to new data, discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is far higher than for the rest of the population.

On behalf of Inclusive Australia, researchers at Monash University surveyed people over several years on several measures, including their experiences of discrimination, feelings of belonging and well-being, and prejudices towards minority groups.

The survey found the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who reported experiencing at least one form of major discrimination increased dramatically in 2019 from 28.6% to 52.1% and remains very high at 49.7%.

Realizing all injustices against his people, Boland proudly adopted his people and culture. There are lessons for Muslims living in the West and elsewhere in the example of Boland.

Do not abandon your people and faith, no matter how intense the propaganda is.
Identify with the community as a whole, ignoring your subculture or sectarian split.
Never give up. Keep struggling and fighting for your rights.
Never feel ashamed of your way of life.
Do not isolate yourself from the rest of society.
Compete in every walk of life to prove your worth.
No amount of phobia and discrimination should impact your desire to succeed.
Never hide your identity.
Rely on the good nature of people
Trust your ability to overcome all difficulties.
Always stand with the victims of injustice

Born in Mordialloc, Melbourne, Victoria, Boland started his career with Parkdale Cricket Club and first played a competitive game aged six in the under-12's competition. He then joined Victorian Premier Cricket club Frankston Peninsula at age 16, to further his cricketing development. After moving, Boland's first two seasons were less productive, only playing six matches in first grade, with just three wickets. However, he fared much better in second grade, getting 37 wickets in the 2008/2009 season, at an average of 18.60. His next season proved more fruitful, where he played 20 matches for first grade, taking 27 wickets at an average of 27. Another consistent season with Frankston-Peninsula saw Boland take 33 wickets at an average of 25.3 in the 2010/2011 season, earning him a rookie state-level contract with the Victorian Cricket team.

Despite a solid start to the 2011/2012 season, Boland wasn't called up to debut until Victoria's fourth Sheffield Shield game. In the 2012/13 season, Boland was not a regular member of the Sheffield Shield or Ryobi Cup squad, playing in seven of Victoria's games across both formats. The 2013/14 season was much more productive for Boland, as he enjoyed an extended stay in Victoria's teams for both the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup tournaments.

Boland's performances were again consistent in the following season in 2014/15, and he was now a mainstay in the Victorian attack. The 2015/16 season was a breakout season for Boland at both state and international levels. Boland took a career-best 7/31 against Western Australia that got the attention of the national selectors. As a result, he was on the standby list for Australia's Test against the West Indies in Hobart. In addition, he got the Bill Lawry Medal as Victoria's best Sheffield Shield player.

The 2017/18 season was another consistent season for Boland, as he claimed 38 wickets at 26.92 to finish the season. The 2018/19 domestic season was another success. Boldon took 48 wickets at a miserly average of 19.66.

In 2018, Boland was in the Aboriginal XI to England to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that traveled to England. His brother Nick was also in the squad of 13. The 1868 tour was the first time an Australian sports team represented the country overseas. He was a standout on tour, with some commentators noting he was unplayable at times.

In 2017, Boland's family discovered that his grandfather, John Edward, was Aboriginal, from the Gulidjan tribe in the Colac area of Victoria. After discovering this, Boland embraced his indigenous heritage, playing in indigenous representative teams and further educating himself on indigenous traditions.

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