Twelve Blind and Deaf cricketers from NSW await the chance to earn national selection within the next 12 months.
At the end of last season, seven NSW Blind cricketers and five NSW Deaf players were selected to attend Cricket Australia training camps.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has caused uncertainty regarding the Australian Blind team’s scheduled tour of the United Kingdom in August and the Deaf Cricket World Cup in Dubai during the first half of 2021.
Brian Edwards, Sean Fitzpatrick, Mike Hamilton, Lindsay Heaven, Nathan Letts, Ethan Staturchio and Oscar Stubbs were selected in a Blind National Training Squad of 24 players to be reduced to 17 who were to travel to England in August.
Lewis Beard, Andrew Park, Austin Philip, Nick Watkins and Kurt Williams were among 17 players selected in the National Deaf Training Squad. Following the 2021 National Cricket Inclusion Championships, a squad of 15 would be chosen for the Deaf World Cup.
All but one of the 12 NSW players were part of the state’s successful Blind and Deaf teams at the National Cricket Inclusion Championships during January in Geelong, Victoria.
Heaven captained his state to a third successive title in the Blind and Low Vision division, while Park led the NSW Deaf and Hard of Hearing team to their first national title.
Performances at the National Cricket Inclusion Championships formed the basis of selection for the respective training squads.
Fast bowler Austin Philip has defied common misconceptions about people with disabilities earning a place in the First Grade team for Hawkesbury in the NSW Premier Cricket competition.
Beard was the leading run-scorer in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing division at the National Inclusion Championships with 144 runs at an average of 48.