Australia announce squad for World Intellectual Impairment Sport Cricket Tri-Nations
By Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia has selected a 14 player squad for the International Federation for Intellectual Disability Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Tri-Nations to be held from the 9-21 July in Cheshire, Great Britain. The tournament will bring together the best cricketers with an intellectual disability from Australia, England and South Africa.
The historic tour marks the first time an Australian cricket team for players with any type of impairment has travelled abroad since the country’s Commonwealth Bank and Cricket Australia announced the single largest investment in women’s sport and diversity sports programmes. A key milestone of that investment being that cricket is the first non-Paralympic Australian sport to fully fund its national teams.
As a consequence, players in this squad will not have to pay to represent their country where previously they had to find up to AUD 5,000 each to participate.
Vittoria Shortt, Group Executive of Marketing and Strategy at Commonwealth Bank, said the bank’s partnership with Cricket Australia is particularly focused on strengthening the foundations of cricket for women, Indigenous players, players with impairments, and the local clubs around the country that are the lifeblood of the game.
“Supporting players with disabilities is a focus of our partnership, and we are delighted to be able to play a role in helping the 14 outstanding players that have been selected to represent Australia in the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Tri-Nations series.
“We wish the team all the very best for the tournament and know they will be excellent ambassadors for the country.”
The Australian side depart for Great Britain on 4 July looking to claim back the title it last won in 2009. After bringing home silverware at the first three editions of the event, Australia finished third in 2011 and runner-up in 2015.
At this event Australia will have two opportunities to claim a title with separate 40 over and T20 tournaments being contested between the three nations.
Head coach John Lonergan believes increased professionalism and a targeted approach over the last two years gives his squad every chance of making up significant ground on defending champions England.
“In 2015 the coaching team identified a large gap between the athleticism and fielding ability of England compared to that of the Australian Squad,” said Lonergan. “This has been a specific focus right from the start in identifying the initial training squad of 22 players.”
“At our training camp at the BUPA National Cricket Centre we called out three key focus areas for this tour. We must enjoy this experience of representing Australia and touring overseas. Each individual should strive to be the best cricketer they can be and finally, we are an elite cricket team representing Australia, so as with Cricket Australia’s overall philosophy we want to be the No.1 cricket nation in our respective division,” continued Lonergan.
Former Australian Test and ODI cricketer Julien Wiener will also join the support coaching staff on this tour as a player mentor having worked closely with several members of the squad at the National Cricket Inclusion Championships in Geelong.
“I’ve been so impressed with how excited and proud these guys are to represent their country and how this has positively reflected in their preparation and willingness to learn and get better,” said Wiener. “This is a squad with a strong team first ethic who are always looking for ways to support their teammates.”
2017 Australia squad
Gavan Hicks (Captain)
Mitchell Cutter Rabl
John Lonergan – Head Coach
Nathan Dodd – Assistant Coach
Jo Connolly – Team Manager
Julien Wiener – Coach and Player Mentor
Australia will open their campaign on 11 July against England in a 40 over match.
2017 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Cricket Tri-Nations schedule
9 July: opening ceremony, Cranage Hall
10 July: England v South Africa, Chester Boughton Hall CC (40 over)
11 July: England v Australia, Grappenhall CC (40 over)
12 July: South Africa v Australia, Nantwich CC (40 over)
13 July: South Africa v England, Bramhall CC (40 over)
14 July: Australia v England, Tattenhall CC (40 over)
16 July: South Africa v Australia, Oxton CC (40 over)
17 July: Final, Neston CC (40 over)
18 July: England v Australia and Australia v South Africa, Toft CC (T20)
19 July: South Africa v England and England v Australia, Chester Boughton Hall CC (T20)
20 July: England v South Africa and South Africa v Australia, Oxton CC (T20)
21 July: Final, Nantwich CC (T20)