A painting of cricketers on an oval playing cricket.
I. F. Weedon, English & Australian cricketers great match, England v. Australia played at Lord's Cricket Ground, London, 19th, 20th, 21st July, 1886., 1887, nla.obj-136081473

The convicts, soldiers and settlers who came to Australia to set up an outpost of the British Empire brought with them the sporting culture of eighteenth-century Britain. As the colonial settlements grew, opportunities for leisure and sport increased.

Hunting, horseracing, cricket, rowing and boxing were just some of the British sports which found a new home in Australia. These pastimes became a focus of colonial life, and the athletes who excelled at them quickly became some of the most celebrated personalities in colonial society.