Cricket, with a twist 

SEIFFERT Oval has hosted some of the state’s leading fringe cricketers, but there was something unique about Sunday’s line-up of players: they were blind.

Members of the Albury and Canberra Blind Cricket Clubs descended on Goulburn on Sunday. Their purpose was twofold: resume a rivalry that dates back to 2007 and promote the modified form the game.

Sunday’s outing featured some of the leading players in blind cricket, including Australian all-rounder Daniel Searle and national captain on a UK tour this June, Cameron Roles.

Sunday’s competition was an ideal hit out for Searle, who’s off to next month’s World Cup of Blind Cricket in India.

“It was really good to have another game under the belt and also get some coaching from national coach Neil Mackay,” Searle said.

“I am definitely keen to come back and see more local players involved in the game.”

Matches are played using a white plastic ball that is hollow. Ball bearings inside make an audible sound and the bowler releases the ball in an underarm action.

The bowler must say “play” before releasing the ball. The ball must bounce twice before reaching the batsman - once in each half of the wicket. Batsman play a sweep-style shot which ensures a fastpaced game, allows players to score at a brisk pace and allows the ball to each all parts of the ground.

Totally blind batsmen get double-runs with their partially-sighted peers running for them.

In other respects, this is another game of cricket. That’s the beauty of the game, Searle says.

“For many of the players, blind cricket provides an opportunity to be physically active in a safe and fun environment,” he said.

“We are all very passionate about having healthy and active lifestyles as we know that the opportunities for those of us who are blind or vision impaired outside the big cities are quite limited.”

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