Cricket Australia has announced this season’s National Cricket Inclusion Championships (NCIC), National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) and Toyota Australia Country Cricket Championships (ACCC) will not be going ahead, with all three championships set to return next season.
Of these competitions, Cricket ACT are only involved in the ACCC. This news is particularly disappointing as the ACT Comets were just reinstated into the competition last year after not being involved for 6 seasons.
The difficult decision to postpone the Championships is based on limitations with travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, along with the increased burden placed on players, volunteers and staff and has been made in consultation with government and medical officials.
Cricket ACT High Performance Manager Olivia Thornton stated, "Whilst the Australian Country Cricket Championships are an important part of the ACT Male Pathway, we completely respect the decision that Cricket Australia has made, given the current climate. In the interim, we are in the process of organising various competitive playing opportunities for the ACT Comets and look forward to participating in the competition next season."
The ACCC, their participants and communities remain vitally important to Australian Cricket, with teams to receive targeted assistance for player development through the season from both CA and their respective State and Territory in lieu of the respective competitions taking place this season. This will include state specific programs for teams with examples being training sessions, mentorships, intra-state matches, BBL attendance, personal development and satellite coaching.
The Australia Country Cricket Championships have run for more than 30 years, bringing Australia’s country region’s best cricketers together once a year.
The decision to postpone the Championships to next season will give Cricket Australia and State/Territory bodies the ability to focus on delivering safe and engaging programs for its teams.
Belinda Clark, Executive General Manager of Community Cricket, said:
“This was a tough decision, which was not taken lightly. We’re deeply disappointed these competitions will be pushed back until next season, particularly given how much value the championships bring to players, staff and communities alike.”
“The uncertainty regarding interstate travel and COVID-19 restrictions and requirements place an even greater toll on local organising committees and non-elite players who would be away from their employment, family and friends for an increased period of time.
“With this in mind, we made the decision to postpone this year’s tournaments and put our efforts into supporting the players differently this year and then producing an even better tournament next season, which we are incredibly excited about.
“The States & Territories are excited about the opportunity to focus on what programs we can deliver this year, with activities such as regular training, mentoring and practise matches being worked through at state level, ensuring our participants are prepared for the Championships return next season.”
“We’d like to thank all of the States & Territories for their support, along with the understanding of our valued partners Commonwealth Bank, Toyota Australia and Taverners Australia, who make these Championships happen each year.