The Kenyan Maasai Cricket Warriors team are currently in Australia and one spectator who was particularly impressed with the colourful campaigners for an end to FGM was the UK Ambassador to Australia, Menna Rawlings.
The British diplomat posted various images and a video on Twitter and Instagram respectively which were retweeted by UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, of the team warming up for a match against the Bradman Foundation. Honours were drawn in the game.
The Bradman Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust set up in 1987 to promote cricket as a “valuable cultural and sporting force within the community”.
Formed in 2007, the Maasai Cricket Warriors have become a semi-professional team, travelling the world and promoting social change, campaigning for an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The Warriors grew up hunting in the small village in the Laikipia region and plays wearing their traditional red and white garments and are famous for the Aduma, a traditional jumping dance.
The team was brought to Australia by the Primary Club, a charity that promotes access to sport for people with disability and the charity’s Jim Winchester said cricket can be a vehicle for transcending barriers.
“There are over 500,000 people across the Maasai group and cricket is now just another layer in that culture,” he said.
“I think you almost become your own culture when you’re a team. Whatever different challenges they may have are just left out as soon as they walk out on the pitch.” – Jim Winchester
On Tuesday the Warriors practiced with with Sydney Swans legends and played two T20 exhibition matches on Thursday, scored and refereed by asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.