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Alan’s wool has passed the Test

By Vanessa Wiltshire

HOWZAT?! Talk about leaving a legacy.

When the Australian Test cricket team reach for their baggy green caps over the next 100 years, they will have a piece of Heathcote in their hands.

Late last year, Alan Harris of Koole Vale Merino at Costerfield, posted off a sample of his award-winning wool to the “Flock to Baggy Green” project. He did not expect to hear back.

But he did, and together with 450 wool growers from around the country, they have contributed 500kg of greasy wool that will make 1,000 baggy green caps. That’s one kilometre of fabric and is enough to fit out the Australian cricket team until 2120.

Flock to Baggy Green is a joint initiative between the Woolmark Company, Kookaburra and Cricket Australia. Woolgrowers from across Australia were invited to donate samples of wool to be used in the manufacturing process.

Alan, who is astonished and humbled, said that he has a deep love for his animals and the land.

“I’ve been doing this all my life. Loving what you do, it’s the only way you can succeed and last in the industry,” he said.

Alan received a letter of congratulations, together with a certificate and sample of baggy green fabric on February 11.

His children, Ava and Tom, are proud as punch.

The baggy green cap has been worn by the Australian Test team since 1899 and is a national icon. Made from 100% Australian wool, the cap encapsulates the pride, passion and legacy of the sport.

Said Mark Taylor, a former Australian captain, “The baggy green is the ultimate pinnacle for any cricketer in Australia to receive.”

Australian Wool Industry (AWI) general manager operations Nigel Gosse said that the partnership with Cricket Australia was part of AWI’s commitment to its fibre advocacy program.

“Flock to Baggy Green has created a lasting legacy from the woolgrowers of Australia to Australian cricket, adding to the history and provenance of one of our nation’s most significant sporting icons,” Mr Gosse explained.

“Cricket-loving woolgrowers from the outback to the coast, from large pastoral holdings to small family businesses have all answered the call to help grow the Baggy Green. All have donated some of the natural fibre they grow with passion to help make our most sacred sporting icon.

“At AWI our role is to increase the long-term profitability of Australian woolgrowers and to advocate for the natural fibre domestically and overseas.

“This fabric has been grown on more than 450 properties across Australian and donated by cricket-loving woolgrowers, which adds to the history and provenance of one of our nation’s most significant sporting icons.’’

For more details visit www.flocktobaggygreen.com.au.