Thursday 7 July 2011

Australian Open Indoor Cricket Championships

Okay, I had announced this in a previous post, but now it's official: Indoor Cricket World/Dusty Dingo Photography is the nominated official photographer for the upcoming Australian Indoor Cricket Open Championships.


The pinnacle of Indoor Cricket competition in Australia, this event will be held from Sunday 24th July to Saturday 30th July 2011, at the Ballajura Indoor Sports Stadium, Cnr Oxleigh Dve and Townsend St, Malaga, Perth.

Competition is divided into Open Men, Open Women, Under 21 (boys), and the Lords Taverners Shield, for players with an intellectual disabilty.

Now, I know what to expect at an Australian Open as far as non-stop action, noise and atmosphere. I've umpired in many of them, so I should. And I've played in more Australian National Masters competitions than I care to remember. But not everyone is in this same boat:

I was talking to a couple of my workmates last week, just a general chat about the inclusion or otherwise of people with an intellectual disability in mainstream sport (I have a post on this exact subject nearly ready for publishing--coming soon).

During our conversation, I mentioned the Lords Taverners Shield, and how fantastic it was that that competition was held as part of the Australian Open Championships. But when I explained that it was indoor CRICKET, both women (my workmates) glazed over and began mumbling randomly . . . "rather hammer nails into my eyes" . . . "the only sport where old fat blokes can get a game" . . . "individual synchronised swimming more exciting" . . .

"But but but" I spluttered, "this is INDOOR cricket". "No" they replied, "it's indoor CRICKET" as they reached for the bag of nails.

As readers may have noticed in an earlier post somewhere, I am not a timid soul. I have taken risks with life and limb on many occasions, for a wide variety of reasons. However, as I began to try to convince my two wormkates of the merits of indoor cricket, I felt the sisyphean boulder (google it) pressing into my face. So I did what any mere mortal should do in the face of such a challenge . . I changed the subject.

But it did get me thinking . . . through the Indoor Cricket World website, I have for years banged on about the seriously weak marketing of indoor cricket. And you know what? . . . you're with me, right? . . . .

Okay, maybe I've missed the tv ads promoting this championship--after all, I refuse to watch channels 7, 9 or 10 unless absolutely essential (Test Cricket, occasionally an AFL game, both with the volume turned down and the radio blasting out the ABC's commentary ....except of course when the "live" games we in the West receive are on a 2 or 3 hour delay). Any readers who can put me straight on the number and frequency of tv advertising, please, drop me a line so I can grovel an apology . . .

And maybe I've missed the ads in the local rag (I haven't read the West Australian advertising-and-populist-opinion-manipulator-disguised-as-a-newspaper for a few years now). Again, readers/line/grovel/apology.

And I've missed the interviews on local radio . . . unless they were on 6PR . . . but then, if they were, no one else would have heard them either. . . . readers/grovel/etc . . .

And please tell me I'm just not aware of the promotion of the sport through invites to, or at least through, local schools to attend for a game or two (especially older high school kids).

And lastly, I've obviously missed any promotion on Cricket Australia web site's NEWS page. To be fair . . . there is mention of the Opens if you click on Getting Involved, then click on Indoor Cricket, then scroll down. No headlines. No banners. And nothing on the front page. You have to go looking specifically for Indoor Cricket . . . . now that's what I call preaching to the choir . . . .

Here's hoping Cricket Australia put a little more thought and effort into promoting this event beyond just preaching to the choir.

I'd love to save my workmates from wasting their nails . . .

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