Bentleigh Cricket Club hosts inclusive day at the cricket

29 January 2021

Bentleigh Cricket Club will host a blind cricket exhibition match on Sunday 14 February against the Victorian blind cricket team. The match will commence at 4:30pm, after the conclusion of the women’s double header at Bentleigh Recreation Reserve on Arthur St, Bentleigh.

The match is part of the Victorian Blind Cricket Association’s (VBCA) efforts to promote the sport after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the annual National Cricket Inclusion Championship. The VBCA has organised a number of exhibition matches across Victoria, which will also help them prepare for an upcoming series against NSW.

Blind cricket allows one of Australia’s favourite pastimes to be enjoyed by the blind and low vision community. Both the blind and low vision community and the sighted community are encouraged to attend the Bentleigh match to learn more about the sport. 

Michael Linke, Vision Australia general manager of commercial services, will be taking part on the day and hopes it sparks interest in a new generation of participants.

“Having not pulled on the cricket whites for a few years now, I’m looking forward to February 14. I hope to ignite a love of a different kind, the love of sport and more specifically blind cricket,” Michael said.

“Blind cricket not only keeps you fit and healthy, but it also develops lifelong skills: leadership, decision making, mateship, team work and the desire to succeed are all part of the mix. Plus, you’ll have a lot of fun and meet some great people!” he said.

The day will also be extra special for Bentleigh Cricket Club’s Trish Jeffery and Emily Shepard. Both Trish and Emily’s sons have rare genetic conditions causing deteriorating vision, so having inclusive pathways for participation is paramount to them.

“I just want my son to be able to play the game he loves for as long as he can, and having blind cricket competitions increasing in numbers across Australia gives him opportunities he wouldn’t otherwise have,” Emily said.

“Cricket really now is a game for everyone and I hope the match on the 14th gives the boys a taste for the different format of the game they both love. And who knows, they may just pull on the baggy green one day,” Trish said.

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