The famous Trans-Tasman cricket rivalry will reignite when teams from Australia and New Zealand go head to head at the 33rd Australian National Blind Cricket Championships.
Today, Acting Minister for Sport Philip Dalidakis welcomed the competing teams to Carlton’s Princes Park, which will join Fawkner Park as the battleground for 70 of the two nation’s top vision impaired cricketers. The event is possible thanks to an Andrews Labor Government grant.
The Australian National Blind Cricket Championships pit Australia and New Zealand’s top players against each other in Twenty20 and one-day matches, all competing for national honours and vying for a spot on the Australian blind cricket team.
Blind cricket is similar to the conventional summer pastime played by thousands of Australians, but with a number of adaptations that allow blind or vision impaired players to compete. A unique cricket ball is the key feature, rattling as it moves to allow players to hear its location.
Each team includes four totally blind players, three partially blind players, and four partially sighted players. Totally blind players are credited with two runs for every run scored off the bat.
Victoria is the cricket capital of Australia. Some 324,000 Victorians play some form of the game, while fans flock to events like the Boxing Day Test and the Big Bash in their droves. The Labor Government is investing $25 million towards turning Junction Oval into a world-class home for the state’s best players.
The Labor Government is also partnering with Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia to deliver a $12.4 million program aimed at helping the state build on its status as the national leader for cricket. The Community Cricket Program: On Common Ground will create new opportunities for all Victorians to pick up a bat or ball and enjoy the game.
The Australian National Blind Cricket Championships run from December 28 to January 7.
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Sport Philip Dalidakis
“Blind cricket is an amazing sport to watch. It’s proof there are no barriers to a healthy and active lifestyle or a chance to shine.”
“Events like the Australian National Blind Cricket Championships are great for Victoria. They mean more visitors, more patronage for nearby businesses and more opportunities for our grassroots clubs.”
“We’re getting on with the job of delivering a bigger and better calendar of events for Victoria, because it means jobs for Victorians and a stronger state.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021