Northern Territory Cricket today confirmed the 2021 edition of the Imparja Cup will proceed, with the action to take place from Monday 15 to Saturday 20 February in Alice Springs.
Following confirmation that the National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) would be been postponed until 2022 due to challenges associated with COVID-19, NT Cricket commenced a process of community consultation to understand the level of comfort in staging the Imparja Cup tournament in 2021.
All stakeholders expressed a strong desire for the Imparja Cup event to continue, ensuring the celebration of Indigenous Cricket continues for its 28th consecutive year. While the nature of the challenges presented by COVID-19 mean interstate teams will not be able to take part in 2021, opportunities will still exist for individuals from interstate to be involved in the festivities.
Players, coaches and match officials from interstate interested in taking part in the 2021 Imparja Cup will be able to register an expression of interest with NT Cricket, who will then seek to facilitate opportunities for individuals to get involved in local community teams, or the match officials group, in consultation with the Imparja Cup Advisory Committee.
The format of the 2021 tournament will follow that of recent years, with Northern Territory teams able to nominate for the following divisions:
- Mixed Indoor Cricket (Super 6s format)
- Major Centres Division presented by Yeperenye Shopping Centre (T20 format)
- Men’s Community Division presented by DXC Technology (Super 8s format)
- Women’s Community Division presented by Statewide Super (Super 8s format)
The Schools Cup also returns in 2021 with schools from around the Red Centre encouraged to register their interest in participating.
Quote from Joel Morrison, CEO, NT Cricket:
“The Imparja Cup is a significant part of cricket in the Territory with such a rich culture, so we are delighted to be in a position to stage the 2021 event.
“We are looking forward to another great celebration of cricket, country and culture in the Red Centre, the home of Indigenous Cricket.
“A big thank you must go to Imparja Television, the NT Government and Alice Springs Town Council for their ongoing support of this event. It would not be possible without them and the support of all our commercial partners.”
Quote from Alistair Feehan, CEO, Imparja Television:
“After what has been a very difficult year it is just fantastic that NT Cricket have decided to once again run the Imparja Cup.
“For all those community and local teams who have been impacted during COVID-19, please participate in this great event and make the 2021 event a huge success. Your participation is really important for all communities.”
Quote from NT Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford:
“The Imparja Cup is a fantastic sporting event on the Alice Springs calendar that not only promotes cricket in the region, but also provides an important opportunity for Indigenous cricketers.
“Equally, the event helps support the local economy, with hundreds of cricketers and cricket fans heading to Alice to take part.
“The NT Government, through the NT Major Events Company, supports this important festival to draw people to the region and continue the long and important tradition of cricket in the Red Centre.”
Quote from Mayor Damien Ryan, Alice Springs Town Council:
“Alice Springs Town Council is proud to be a partner in this prominent Indigenous sporting event that is deeply connected to culture and to Alice Springs.
“The safe application of this iconic sporting event is great news for players, spectators and the local economy.”
Registration is free and open to new and past teams from the Northern Territory. Further details and information on how to register can be found here.
Expressions of interest from interstate players, coaches and match officials also now available to be registered. Further details and information on how to do so can be found here.
The 2021 Imparja Cup will be conducted in accordance with the NT Government’s COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure the health and safety of all participants and the wider community.
· The first Imparja Cup match was held on Australia Day in 1994 as an initiative of Shane and Mervyn Franey from Alice Springs and Ross Williams from Tennant Creek, who wanted host an annual cricket match between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Indigenous cricketers, with the purpose of promoting Indigenous cricket.
· In 1998 Shane Franey and Ross Williams approached NT Cricket to seek assistance in organising the logistics of the game, leading to the evolution of the Imparja Cup in its current form.
· Cricket Australia partnered with NT Cricket 2016 to establish the National Indigenous Cricket Championship with the aim of strengthen the pathway for Indigenous cricketers.
· Current Australian representatives D’Arcy Short and Ashleigh Garner both played in the Imparja Cup as juniors.