Matt Cameron’s rise through the ranks of blind cricket in Australia has been a rapid one.
After taking up the sport just two years ago, the 19 year-old from the Hunter region in New South Wales is now preparing to head to India to represent Australia at the upcoming Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup.
Matt’s selection in the Australian squad came as somewhat of surprise, despite previous strong performances in the international arena.
“I played for Australia A against New Zealand in 2015 and then had a pretty good game against England in 2016, who are a pretty strong side,” Matt said.
“I knew I’d been shortlisted for the squad, but it still came as a bit of a shock when I found out I’d actually be going to India.”
Matt’s sight deteriorated in his teenage years to Usher syndrome and he now has tunnel vision with between one and five percent sight at a central point.
Before that, Matt had been a “red-ball” cricketer, which made the transition to blind cricket a little easier.
“Coming from red-ball cricket meant I wasn’t completely new to things, but there were still a couple of things that took a bit of getting used to.
“When I started batting everybody was telling me to get down lower, which is completely different to what you’d do in red-ball cricket.”
Blind cricket teams are made up of four totally blind players (B1), three partially blind players (B2) and four partially sighted players (B3). Matt’s level of vision makes him a B2 player and while he’s not sure where he will bat during the World Cup, he can’t wait to experience the tour of India.
“I’ve never been to India before and I never thought I’d get the chance to play cricket there.
“It’s such an iconic place when it comes to cricket and I can’t wait to get over there and see the country and see what it’s like to play cricket there and really experience it all.”
While he’s set to add to his tally of Australian caps in India, Matt has his sights set on representing Australia in other areas too.
“I’ve got my sights set on the making it to the next Paralympics in athletics.
“I’ve been training for a while and I’m targeting some of the long distance events.”
The Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup will be held in India from January 28 – February 15.
For more information on blind cricket, head to Blind Cricket Australia's website here: blindcricket.org.au