The historic tour has been put in place to mark 150 years since an Aboriginal cricket team became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.
Victoria’s Dan Christian will lead the men’s side, with both the men’s and women’s teams playing against several of the same opposition from the original tour.
Gardner is honoured to represent her culture on the national stage and to be part of the first indigenous women’s team to undertake an international tour.
“150 years on to be captain is such an honour, and getting the opportunity to lead the girls in a country I have recently played in hopefully I can pass on some of the things I learnt when I was over there,” Gardner said.
“Being able to represent my culture is really special and all the girls are really excited to do that too. They all understand this is a big moment in their careers and for me to be able to captain a team that is inexperienced in terms of international tours but one that is ready for that competition is a big moment.”
The uniform that has been created for the 2018 Aboriginal XI incorporates the commemorative artwork titled ‘Walkabout Wickets’ which tells the story of both the 1866 Boxing Day match and the 1868 tour.
The artwork was designed by Aunty Fiona Clarke, the great-great-granddaughter of Grongarrong (Mosquito), one of the stars of the 1868 team.
In addition to the matches, players will engage in activities pre-tour and in the UK to further connect with the significance of the 1868 events as they take over the reigns as story tellers to future generations of Indigenous cricketers.
Women's 2018 Aboriginal XI squad
Ashleigh Gardner (c), Murwari, SA
Jemma Astley, Wanarua, NSW
Dharmini Chauhan, Wiradjuri, NSW
Christina Coulson, QLD
Hannah Darlington, Kamilaroi, NSW
Sara Darney, Wiradjuri, NSW
Zoe Fleming, Kamilaroi, NSW
Haylee Hoffmeister, Palawa, WA
Emma Manix-Geeves, Palawa, TAS
Sally Moylan, Wiradjuri, ACT
Natalie Plane, Kamilaroi, VIC
Roxanne Van Veen, Gundungurra, NSW
Naomi Woods, Kamilaroi, NSW
Coach: Shelley Nitschke
Women's 2018 Aboriginal XI fixture
7 June – Aboriginal XI v Surrey @ The Kia Oval
8 June – Aboriginal XI v Sussex @ The First Central County Ground
10 June – Aboriginal XI v National Cricket Conference @ 3aaa County Ground
12 June – Aboriginal XI v ECB Academy @ Loughborough