In its 26th year, the Imparja Cup has a long history of bringing together cricket and country, with the week long festivities celebrating Indigenous cricket and bringing together family and long-time friends. Alice Springs was a buzz with an electric atmosphere throughout the tournament as Indigenous teams converged on the town from all over the Territory.
The action got underway with the Imparja Indoor Competition in a Super Six format played at Traeger Park. Cricket in the NT is all about innovation and the indoor competition was no exception, making use of the outdoor cricket nets at Traeger Park set up as an indoor cricket court. The competition was taken out by local team the Desert Eagles.
Friday night saw the conclusion of the men’s and women’s Imparja Community Division competitions, with a large crowd on hand to witness the Grand Finals. The Bush Potatoes took out the Women’s Community Division Grand Final for the ninth straight year, proving too strong for the Tennant Creek Ladies. While the Red Centre Wranglers were victorious in the Men’s Community Division Grand Final, overrunning Brothers in Arms to win their third title in a row.
The Imparja Major Centres Grand Final was contested by the Top End Thunder and the Darwin Barras with the Barras chasing down the total of 122 in the 18th over.
The Imparja Schools Cup was the highlight of the week for junior Indigenous cricketers across the Territory, with more than 170 boys and girls taking part in a series of Cricket Blast games. In addition to the Imparja Schools Cup, the Clontarf Academy School Cup also took place at Yirara College with plenty of talent on display.
Umpires and scorers for the Imparja Cup came from around the country and the Territory to join in the festival of Indigenous cricket and excitement of the carnival.
Speaking at the conclusion of the Imparja Cup, NT Cricket CEO Joel Morrison said it was another hugely successful tournament.
“There is nothing quite like the Imparja Cup anywhere else in Australia. It is an incredibly special week and a wonderful celebration of cricket, country and culture.
“Having 51 teams compete throughout the week is testament to the deep affinity Indigenous Territorians have with cricket. In its 26th year the Imparja Cup goes continues to go from strength to strength, and is a clear highlight of the summer of cricket.”
CEO of Imparja Television Alistair Feehan, naming rights partner of the Imparja Cup since the tournament’s inception, said his organisation was proud to continue its 26 year association with the event.
“Imparja Television is proud of our long association with the Imparja Cup and NT Cricket. Just like the Imparja Cup, Imparja Television was founded in Alice Springs by local Aboriginal people and is a great success story of Indigenous enterprise.
“I’d like to congratulate all players, umpires, scorers and team officials on another successful Imparja Cup. Matches were played in the right spirit with many new memories and friendships made throughout the week.”
NT Cricket would like to thank the NT Government, Imparja Television, Yeperenye Shopping Centre, Lord’s Taverners Northern Territory and the Alice Springs Town Council for their continued generous support, which out which would not make the week possible.