Western Australia's three National Cricket Inclusion Championships teams today launched their campaigns at the same competition for the first time, marking a significant achievement in cricket's goal of being a sport for all Australians.
Players from the three teams attended a cap presentation ceremony last Friday, before flying to Geelong for the competition that runs until 24 January.
The championships, which feature 15 teams and more than 230 players from across the country, consist of three divisions: blind and vision impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, and cricketers with an intellectual disability.
This month's championships is the first time in Australian sport that the three divisions will be played as part of one competition.
WA will sent its own deaf cricket team and combined with South Australia to form a blind cricket team, while a side of the state's intellectual disability players joined their counterparts for the first time at a national tournament.
Players to watch during the competition include the intellectual disability team's opening bowler Boyd Duffield; vision impaired player Bradley Brider, who is the youngest person to earn a Baggy Green; and Tim Regan, the captain and coach of WA's deaf cricket team.
WACA General Manager – Game & Market Development Jo Davies said the NCIC was an exciting development in Australian cricket for people with a disability.
"The championships are testament to the work being undertaken to make cricket a sport for all and ensure there is a clear pathway for people with a disability," Ms Davies said.
"WA's participants are extremely skillful and are proven assets to their local clubs, and this competition provides a national platform for them to showcase their talents.
"We wish all of WA's NCIC players the best of luck."
Disability squad: Lyndsay Ashworth, Boyd Duffield, Jonothan
Flowers, David Hallows (Vice Captain), Aaron Heathwood, Anthony Kalimeris, Sean
McGowan (Vice Captain), Aaron Richards, Nick Rogerson (Captain), Andrew Smalley, Greg Turner (Coach)
squad (combined with SA): Bradley Brider, Richard Brider, Alex
Carmichael-Hillian, Ryan Honschotten, David Martin, Stephen Nero, Tony
squad: Steven Hodgetts, James Johnson, Chris Levitzke-Gray,
Benjamin Lowerie, David Melling, Tim Regan (Captain/Coach), Shannon Scarvaci
(Manager/Player), Syed Shah-Rukh, Matt Shenton, James Tsakalos, Cameron