The fifth National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) is in full swing on Arrernte Land in Alice Springs, with Queensland, Victoria and NSW setting the early pace in the Men’s Division.
Queensland and Victoria have two wins each from their three games, while defending champions, NSW, have won both of their hit outs so far.
Tyran Eggmolesse, from Queensland, has been the outstanding batter so far, scoring 113 against Tasmania in the tournament opener, before making 72 against South Australia. Eggmolesse has cracked a remarkable 18 sixes across his two knocks and scored his runs at a strike rate of 177.9. Tasmania’s Brodie Hayes is next on the run-scorers’ list, with 129 from three innings.
Jack Coppins, from South Australia, has taken the best figures in the tournament so far, snaring 4/14 against Victoria.
The Men’s Division took a break from competition on Wednesday for a series of cultural activities, centred mainly on stories of the land and ways in which traditional culture and stories can be passed through the generations.
The Women’s Division will undertake their cultural activities day on Thursday. On the field, in the Women’s Division, NSW and Queensland have started the strongest, each winning both of their matches so far. As in the Men’s Division, NSW are defending the title they won last year.
Despite having batted only once so far in the tournament, against Victoria, NSW’s Anika Learoyd is the leading run-scorer, with 88, eight runs ahead of Western Australia’s Regina Deleeuw.
Four bowlers are locked on four wickets each, including three Queenslanders: Clodagh Ryall, Courtney Hagen and Paige Hatherell, along with NSW bowler Lara Graham. Ryall took a spectacular 3-0 in Queensland’s comfortable win over Northern Territory.
The NICC runs until Monday, February 3, and features seven men’s and six women’s teams from every state and territory. They are competing for national titles in T20 formats at three venues around Alice Springs, Traeger Park, Jim McConville Oval and Albrecht Oval.
The NICC is being staged alongside The Imparja Cup, a tournament for Indigenous cricketers from the Northern Territory. The Imparja Cup, which is in its 27th year, consists of four divisions: Mixed Indoor Cricket, Men's Major Centres, Men's Community and Women's Community.
The tournaments coincide with Australian cricket’s Reconciliation Round to recognise, celebrate and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples and cultures through cricket.
On February 1, the Australian Women’s Team, along with premier and community cricketers from around Australia, will join players from the NICC in ‘one consistent act’, where teams and umpires remove their shoes and join together in a barefoot circle.