A group of inspirational athletes were in Rotorua at the weekend, showing there is really no excuse to not do what you love.

The New Zealand Blind Cricket Association held round three of its domestic summer series at Smallbone Park with teams representing Central Districts, Manukau South, Canterbury and Waikato.

Central Districts Blind Sports Club chairman and captain of the Central Districts cricket team Ross Gilmore, of Rotorua, said blind cricket was an opportunity for the visually impaired to discover there was a sport they could not only play, but excel at. He should know, he represented New Zealand at the 2017 T20 Blind Cricket World Cup.

"People are surprised when they hear about blind cricket. The big challenge is to actually get those who have visual impairment to get involved in blind cricket.


"A lot of them have memories of high school sport and PE - unfortunately, in years gone by, school PE hasn't been that kind to those who can't see very well. A number of our players who have got involved in blind cricket have really taken to it.

"They realise there's a game they can actually a play and a game they can be quite good at. I was one of those, I spent a number of years avoiding the Blind Foundation and anything to do with the word 'blind'. But I got involved in blind cricket and realised quite quickly that I could play it and play it quite well."

He said in most ways, blind cricket was played the same as sighted cricket, except the players relied on sound. They use a hard plastic ball with ball bearings inside which rattle when it is bowled and steel stumps which make a louder noise when hit. It is generally played with 40m boundaries.

"There are three sight categories; B1, B2 and B3. B1s are totally blind, B3 is at the top end of the vision scale and B2 is in the middle. The good thing about blind cricket is that you need a certain number of each of those categories on the field at one time, especially at international level, so it's pretty all encompassing for anyone that has a vision impairment to get involved.

"There's another T20 World Cup in 2021 which the New Zealand team will go to - the make-up of that team is selected from the playing pool of the national summer series teams."

The Rotorua Cricket Association has a long-standing relationship with the New Zealand Blind Cricket Association, after their centenary last year they donated $1000, made up of proceeds from the dinner and a silent auction, to the organisation.

Gilmore was full of praise for Rotorua Cricket.

"Smallbone Park is probably the pick of the grounds that we've been playing at. The Rotorua Cricket Association was really helpful this weekend and they are always supportive of blind cricket."


Anyone interested in blind cricket and other blind sports can go to the Central Districts Blind Sports Club Facebook page.