More than 700 players from across the country will compete at the 2017 Indoor Cricket National Championships, which will be played in Mackay, Queensland in July.
The country’s top indoor cricketers will compete in 11 divisions from 1 July to 15 July, with up to 75 teams set to feature.
In a first for Cricket Australia, this year’s National Championships will combine the junior and open-age divisions in the pinnacle national event for the Australia’s indoor cricketers, which is expected to involve teams from every state and territory.
Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Game and Market Development Andrew Ingleton said:
“This is the first time we have combined the junior and open age National Championships, which will streamline the Pathway for Australia’s leading male and female indoor cricketers,” Ingleton said.
“Mackay hosted last year’s Australian Masters Championships which was an incredible success. We know the players can expect to enjoy first-class facilities and hopefully receive the same level of support from the local community when Mackay hosts this year’s Indoor Cricket National Championships. Cricket Australia thanks Mackay Regional Council for their support of these Championships.
“Indoor cricket participation continues to grow in Australia, with more than 180,000 participants across the country showing there is strong interest in this format of the game.
“This tournament provides an invaluable opportunity for players to test their abilities at the top level in the country, and we’re looking forward to a high standard of a cricket and a highly competitive contest across all divisions.”
At open-age level, there are four divisions: Open Men, Open Women, 30 & Over Men and the Lord’s Taverners Shield (division for cricketers with an intellectual disability).
The underage divisions will involve: 21 & Under Men, 21 & Under Women, 17 & Under Boys, 17 & Under Girls, 15 & Under Boys, 14 & Under Girls, and 13 & Under Boys.
At the conclusion of the tournament, the Australian Open Men, Open Women, 21 & Under Men and 21 & Under Women squads for the 2017 Indoor Cricket World Cup to be held in Dubai in September 2017, will be selected.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said it was exciting the region had secured such a prestigious event.
He said it was supported by council’s Invest Mackay Events Attraction program as it would provide an economic boost for the region.
“The event is expected to attract about 1600 people, including more than 700 players, 150 officials and family and friends as spectators.
“That will provide a boost in economic output of nearly $8.5 million, which is fantastic news for our region.”
A number of current Australian cricketers featured on the indoor courts in their junior careers, including national captains Steve Smith and Meg Lanning, plus the likes of Kristen Beams, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell.