The National Cricket Inclusion Championships (NCIC) returns this week to Brisbane to bring together Australia’s most talented cricketers with a disability to compete for national titles, following a two-year absence due to COVID-19.
16 teams will represent their states and territories in three divisions, including blind or low vision, deaf and hard of hearing and cricketers with an intellectual disability in the week-long tournament in the T20 format at Marchant Park, from February 5 -10.
New South Wales are reigning champions in both the men’s blind or vision impaired and deaf and hard of hearing divisions, and Victoria will be looking to back up their 2020 national title in the men’s cricketers with an intellectual disability division.
Victoria’s deaf women’s team also defeated South Australia in the Combined Deaf All Stars exhibition matches during the 2020 championships, which comprised of the best deaf cricketers from around the country.
For the first time, players from ACT and TAS will play in a combined team in the blind or vision impaired division.
This year, 10 women will be playing across the six teams in the blind or vision impaired division.
Players will also be competing for national selection in the Australian inclusion teams and the Australia Blind team will immediately begin preparations for 2023 IBSA Games in August in Birmingham, UK.
With valued support from CommBank, Principal Partner of Cricket Australia’s A Sport for All program, and Taverner’s Australia, the NCIC form part of Australian cricket’s elite development pathway, with the aim of having more cricketers with a disability represent Australia at the highest level.
Cricket Australia’s General Manager, Events & Operations Joel Morrison said: “It is fantastic to see this event return to the cricket calendar for cricketers with a disability and with it, the opportunity for top talent from across Australia to compete and showcase their skills.
“The NCIC is part of Australian cricket’s vision to be a sport for all that makes Australians proud and our ongoing commitment to creating a welcoming and enjoyable environment for everyone in the game.
“Not only does this championship form an important representative pathway for cricketers, but we also hope it will inspire people from all walks of life to pick up a bat and ball and give cricket a go.”