Alice Springs to host Indigenous cricket carnival
The Australian Cricket Board (ACB), in conjunction with the Northern Territory Cricket Association (NTCA), will play host to a three-day Indigenous cricket carnival in Alice Springs this weekend (29-31 March 2002).
The Imparja Cup is an all-Indigenous cricket competition, comprising of six state and territory teams and six regional representative sides.
First held in 1995, the competition has grown from a Northern Terriotry community-based tournament to a major development fixture on the Australian cricket calendar.
ACB Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the Imparja Cup was another example of the ACB's on-going commitment to developing Indigenous cricket.
"The ACB is dedicated to ensuring cricket is increasingly accessible to Indigenous Australians and with the support of the NTCA, this carnival helps develop a profile for the game in these communities," Mr Sutherland said.
"The Board has significantly increased its investment into Indigenous cricket to help establish new structures, increase participation and improve facilities," he said.
This year, the tournament will be split into two distinct competitions based on a Super 8's format with eight players per side and 14-over innings.
One group will include community teams from Tennant Creek, Katherine, Darwin, Alice Springs and Tiwi Island. The other group will see representative teams from New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory battle it out for the state/territory title.
The groups will play for individual trophies.
The move to the split competition follows last year's tournament, when Tasmania claimed victory. It was the first time in the competition's history that a team from outside the Northern Territory had taken part, and has since attracted teams from other states.
Notable participants in the Imparja Cup include young Northern Territory cricketer Ken Vowles who represented the ATSIC Chairman's XI against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on 8 March.
Vowles, who played for the Northern Territory at the under-19 level, will represent the territory along with former North Melbourne and Collingwood Australian Rules footballer Adrian McAdam.
Vowles said the Imparja Cup is an opportunity to showcase the pool of talented Indigenous Australian cricketers.
"This is a very exciting year for the carnival, as we are now welcoming players not only from the Northern Territory, but from around the country," Vowles said.
"As the competition continues to grow, it will hopefully encourage more Indigenous Australians to become involved with the game at some level," he said.
The Imparja Cup will begin with a welcoming ceremony on Friday 29 March at Traeger Park in Alice Springs, with a night final being played on Sunday 31 March at the same venue.
|State/Territory Teams||Community Teams|
|Northern Territory||Tennant Creek|
|New South Wales||Katherine|
|South Australia||Alice Springs|
|Western Australia||Tiwi Island|