States and Territories are finalising their preparations for the coming National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) held in the heart of Australia from February 4 - 11 2019. Australia's most talented Indigenous cricketers will take the the field in Alice Springs to compete for the National titles. Seven men's and six women's teams will compete for the National titles which showcase the Indigenous cricket talent from around the country. The NICC is played alongside the long running Imparja Cup which features teams from the NT including Major Centres and Community teams.
This year's NT Indigenous teams are stacked with talent and have come together well as a group, each having a strong pride in representing their family, culture and the Northern Territory. They are proud to pull on the NT colours and give their all to the game.
Coach Greg Aldam has worked with the NICC players and squads made up of players from across the NT and said:
"This year's squad has come together well as a group and we're looking forward to playing a competitive brand of cricket in the National Competition which is getting harder and stronger each year. The standard and reputation of the Championships is growing each year and it is an impressive competition with quality players and teams".
The NT men's squad has lost a couple of players from last year including stand-out player and Black Cap player Zac Chapman who has relocated to South Australia. Andrew Glover misses the 2019 championships due to injury. Aldam is confident the team can rebound, "The loss of these guys would normally have left a big hole in the squad, however it's really pleasing to see a number of other players are stepping up to the challenge and able to cover their absence"
The departures from the squad has left room for some new inclusions. Hayden Page is a returning player whose experience and competitive nature will bring a positive energy to the group. He will act as Vice Captain for the NT team and has recent cricket experience for Eastlake in the ACT and has a strong affiliation with the Northern Territory. Another returning player is Darwin local, Ayden Allen whose 2018 club performances with Palmerston Cricket Club are proof he is ready to step up an convert his form on the national stage. He will be a real asset to the team with the bat and in the field.
Mason McGlone is another welcome inclusion for the NT, providing quality play and experience. Shane Buttfield had a good season with Palmerston Cricket Club and will be looking to take his game to the next level. He has been playing the summer season in Geelong, which has provided good preparation in the lead up to the NICC.
As well as the experience and ability of familiar players, there are some newcomers for the NT who will provide balance to the team and give them the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and determination to succeed. Newcomers include Rhys French, wicketkeeper for LaTrobe Demons; Nathan Stares, off spinner from Randwick Petersham and Nicholas Sharah who is getting back to cricket after a recent stint in rugby. His experience across codes will be invaluable for the team's training, determination and grit.
In 2019, co-captaining duties will be shared between the experienced Brandon King and Darrell Lowe who provide stability and drive to the group. Aldam said: "I have no doubt Brandon will learn and develop from this leadership opportunity, as will Darrell who is also acting as an assistant coach with the team.
Regular NT representatives Dylan Fuller, middle order bat Sam Richards, left arm spinner Blair Dalton and opening bat and medium pacer Ben Stares will also feature, rounding out the team and providing balance to the attack. They have shown they can compete well at this level and will be a solid foundation to our newer players.
Aldam believes the NT team will do well this year: "This year's squad is an even group with probably more depth than recent years. Although we might be missing a couple of classic batsmen, I think we have some great talent as well as good game plans in place. There's a real willingness from the group to dig in and stay in the contest as long as possible.
"Rest assured, they are all outstanding individuals who realise the importance and privilege of representing their family and friends to the best of their ability, and importantly being able to represent the Northern Territory. We take great pride in the opportunities given to the group and don't underestimate the history, culture and lifestyle the NT has to offer us all.
Alongside the men's game, six women's teams will play for the National title in T20 matches in Alice Springs. Teams include Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
Sally Moylan will represent the NT again, providing leadership to the team, some of whom played together in the Australian Country Cricket Championships in January. Nicole Honeysett returns to represent NT along with several Alice Springs players including Mica Fleming, Rita Tomlins, Tiara Doolan, Devena Lankin and Denika Braun.
Geraldine Reid (Tennant Creek) was part of the ACCC team and will be joined by fellow Devil's Marbles team mate Olivia Fry. Abby Honeysett, Mel Driscoll and Hannah Wilson round out the team and will bring their experience to the NT squad.
In 2018 Nicole Honeysett was awarded a Black Cap in the NICC for her outstanding performance and has developed her coaching skills with the NT women's teams. She will step up to a playing coach role for the NICC and has the respect of all those around her.
NICC 2019 FIXTURES
4th February to 11 February 2019
Men's National Indigenous Championship fixtures HERE
Women's National Indigenous Championship fixtures HERE
Northern Territory Squads
|NT MEN||NT WOMEN|
|Brandon King||LaTrobe Demons||Sally Moylan||Weston Creek Mens|
|Mason McClone||Northsiders||Hannah Wilson||New Town CC|
|Darrell Lowe||Rovers CC||Rita Tomlins||Probuild Rovers|
|Dylan Fuller||Devena Lankin||Probuild Rovers|
|Blair Dalton||Tracy Village||Geraldine Reid||Probuild Rovers|
|Ayden Allen||Palmerston||Mica Fleming||Probuild Rovers|
|Rhys French||LaTrobe Demons||Tiara Doolan||Gapview Works|
|Hayden Page||Eastlake||Nicole Honeysett||NT Strike|
|Nicholas Sharah||Denika Braun||Wests|
|Samuel Richards||Eastlake||Nerida Riley|
|Shane Buttfield||Palmerston||Abby Honeysett|
|Ben Stares||RandwickPetersham||Melanie Driscoll||Louth CC|
|Nathan Stares||RandwickPetersham||Olivia Fry||Devils Marbles|
|COACH||Greg Aldam||COACH||Nicole Honeysett|
|ASST COACH||DLowe/Adam Trunks||ASST COACH||Greg Aldam|
|MANAGER||Murray MacAllister||MANAGER||Adam Trunks|
For more information on the National Indigenous Cricket Championships, visit the NICC Website at www.nicc.cricket.com.au
For more information about Indigenous cricket carnivals and opportunities in the Northern Territory, contact Narelle Morrison at NT Cricket on 8944 8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org