Photo Credit: Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia has announced the Australian squad for the 2023 International Blind Sport Federation Games (IBSA) in Birmingham, held from August 17 – 27 2023.
Returning to the United Kingdom for the first time since the 2018 Ashes, Australia’s blind squad will compete in the cricket division of the IBSA Games at the University of Birmingham.
Staged every four years, the IBSA is the largest high-level international event for athletes with a visual impairment outside the Paralympic Games, with more than 1250 competitors from 70 nations expected.
The tour will be the Australian blind squad’s first since the 2022 T20 Blind Cricket World Cup in India where the team finished fifth in the rankings.
Long-term captain Matthew McCarthy will lead the squad with the support of vice-captains Shaun Fitzpatrick and Brad Brider.
Selection for Australia’s national blind and low vision squad was made based on several criteria, including performance at the National Cricket Inclusion Championships (NCIC), which returned in Brisbane last month following two years break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s NCIC saw strong performances across the blind division including a maiden century for Oscar Stubbs with a championship record breaking 158 not out off just 69 deliveries along with a century from Brad Brider.
The squad also includes an uncapped Ijlal Ahmed and world-record holder Steffan Nero who scored an unbeaten 309 off 140 balls against New Zealand in the 2022 International Cricket Inclusion Series.
A training camp for selected players will be held in July 2023 at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
Thanks to CommBank, cricket is the first non-Paralympic Australian sport to fully fund national disability squads.
National Blind Squad:
Matthew McCarthy © (Nundah, QLD)
Shaun Fitzpatrick (vc) (Smithfield, NSW)
Bradley Brider (vc) (Joondalup, WA)
Lachlan Hayward (Langwarrin, VIC)
Oscar Stubbs (Glenwood, NSW)
Michael Berg (High Wycombe, WA)
Ryan Honschooten (Gosnells, WA)
Matthew Cameron (Butler, WA)
Reuben Fairbank (Walkley Heights, SA)
Lachlan Wallace (Adelaide, SA)
Michael Zannis (Rostrevor, SA)
Oliver Fanshawe (Pullenvale, QLD)
Jack McAlister (Pimpana, QLD)
Steve Obeid (St Albans, VIC)
Sean Kendrick (West Lake, QLD)
Steffan Nero (Parramatta,NSW)
Ijlal Ahmed (Adelaide, SA)
Head Coach: Mechelle Hare
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer said:
“Congratulations to the players selected to travel across to Birmingham to represent Australia at this year’s IBSA Games.
“We witnessed an extraordinary level of talent with the bat and ball at the recent National Cricket Inclusion Championships and it’s exciting that there is a clear pathway for cricketers with a disability to don green and gold and represent Australia on the global stage.
“We thank CommBank for their invaluable support which enables our national blind squad to return to England for the first time in five years. We wish the team well and know they will continue to inspire more people of all abilities to pick up a bat and ball.”