Some of Australia’s best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cricketers have converged on Alice Springs, with the annual Imparja Cup beginning today until 6 February.
The event is part of the Territory Labor Government’s commitment to bringing premium sporting events to Northern Territory and the three-year partnership with Cricket Australia and Northern Territory Cricket to hold the Imparja Cup and the National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) in Alice Springs until 2021.
Now in its 27th year, the popular sporting event will showcase four divisions including mixed indoor cricket in a Super 6’s format, a 20 over Men’s Major Centres Division and Super 8’s format Men’s Community and Women’s Community Division. The Imparja Schools’ Cup will also return for 2020.
The NICC tournament kicked off on 27 January and will run until 2 February showcasing seven men’s and six women’s teams from every State and Territory.
The past two months have been action-packed for the Red Centre’s cricket community, as the Hobart Hurricanes defeated the Sydney Sixers by 25 runs in their BBL clash at TIO Traeger Park on 20 December.
Both events feature cultural performances and a Welcome to Country at TIO Traeger Park and Albrecht Oval.
During the NICC tournament, players also participate in a day of cultural learning to gain an understanding of Arrernte people and culture.
Each year, one artwork and its accompanying story is celebrated and featured on the Imparja Cup teams’ playing shirts.
This year’s piece by Christopher Walker is titled, ‘A Fight between Two Bush Potatoes’ and tells the story of two families in conflict over land, both being fooled by caterpillar, Jajuclumba.
As stated by Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Eva Lawler:
“Sport is such an important part of life in the Territory – attracting visitors which provide a welcome boost to businesses and creates local jobs.
“This is why the Territory Labor Government invests in community events like the Imparja Cup and the National Indigenous Cricket Championships.
“Every year, dozens of Australia’s best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cricketers come to the Red Centre for these brilliant tournaments.”
As stated by Member for Braitling, Dale Wakefield MLA:
“I’m thrilled to continue our three-year partnership with Cricket Australia and Northern Territory Cricket to hold the Imparja Cup and the National Indigenous Cricket Championships in Alice Springs until 2021.
“Our Government has invested $2.5 million into infrastructure used by cricket in the Red Centre, with $600,000 to upgrade lighting at Albrecht Oval and $2 million to upgrade infrastructure at Albrecht and Jim McConville Ovals.
“These events showcase the wealth of our homegrown and national Indigenous cricketing talent and are enjoyed by much of our Alice Springs community.”
As stated by Northern Territory Cricket CEO, Joel Morrison:
“The Imparja Cup is a special event celebrating cricket, country and culture.
“Cricket plays a unique role in uniting and inspiring communities, which is at the heart of the Imparja Cup in bringing together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across the country in the heart of the nation to play cricket.
“This is a wonderful event that wouldn’t be possible without the Northern Territory Government, whose ongoing support sees the Imparja Cup reach its 27th year in 2020.”