Cricket NSW: Cricketers with a disability headed to this year’s National Inclusion Championships

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Photo Credit: Cricket NSW

Cricket NSW (CNSW) is sending four squads to the National Cricket Inclusion Championships (NCIC) this year, up from three in previous editions, and is proud to announce the first ever Deaf and Hard of Hearing women’s squad to participate at the competition.

The other three squads comprise the Blind and Low Vision team which has both men and women cricketers playing, the men’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing team, and the Cricketers with an Intellectual Disability (ID) team. The Cricket NSW Foundation, the charitable arm of CNSW, is a proud supporter of the teams. In a beautiful ceremony on January 11, representatives of the four teams were presented with their NCIC caps as state players. 

The NCIC will feature the best Australian cricketers with a disability competing to be crowned national champions. Established in 2017, the NCIC provides players with an opportunity to play at the highest domestic level. The five-day tournament will take place in Brisbane from January 20-25.

Twenty two state & territory teams will compete in five divisions – Blind and Low Vision, Women’s Blind and Low Vision exhibition matches, Men’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Women’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Cricketers with an Intellectual Disability.

NSW’s Blind and Low Vision team, which has both men and women cricketers, has brought home the silverware from several editions of the NCIC and are looking to win a fifth straight trophy this year. Some of Australia’s strongest low vision cricketers, Oscar Stubbs and Stefan Nero, are part of the NSW squad this year, as is long-standing captain Lindsey Heaven. Five female cricketers from NSW will be a part of the teams that will play in the Women’s Blind and Low Vision exhibition matches. 

This year, NSW is sending both a Deaf and Hard of Hearing men’s and women’s team. Thanks to a donation from ClubsNSW to the Cricket NSW Foundation, NSW’s first-ever women’s state team will participate in the tournament this year. Respective coaches of the men’s and women’s teams, Chris Ashenden and Tony Clews, are both hopeful that the teams will win as many matches as they can. 

The ID team this year has a mix of old and new players. Nat Young, who was part of Australia’s ID squad touring South Africa in November, 2023, is a part of the state team, as are players such as Luis Roman, who’re happy to be a part of the squad for the first time. 

Jake Balnave, Head of Cricket NSW Foundation, said: 

“We are proud to be able to support the NSW teams at the NCIC. The barriers that these players have faced has not stopped them from playing and loving cricket, and they are an inspiration to us and many others.  

“On behalf of the Cricket NSW Foundation and everyone else at Cricket NSW, we’d like to wish our players all the best for the tournament. We’re looking forward to our cricketers playing the game with pride and passion, no matter what the outcome of the games are.  

“This is about the opportunity for these players to represent their state and we love that we’re able to support them on their journey to play and love cricket.”  

Keep up with all the scores and results from the Championships: HERE


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