Australia's top all abilities cricketers will return to the international stage this month to battle it out on the field against England and New Zealand in the CommBank International Inclusion Series.

The Series, which is proudly supported by Commonwealth Bank, kicked off in Brisbane on June 8. Throughout the Series,  Australia's Deaf, Blind, and Intellectual Disability Cricket squads – also known as the All Abilities teams – play five Twenty20s (T20s) and three One Day International (ODI) matches.

It marks a long-awaited return for the Series, with COVID putting the International Series on ice for the past few years. In fact, this will be the first time Australia’s Deaf Cricket and Australian Blind Cricket teams have played an international match since 2018, and the first test match since 2019 for the Intellectual Disability team.

CommBank’s support of the All Abilities teams has helped to make cricket the first non-Paralympic Australian sport to fully fund its national teams. In other words, the Australian All Abilities teams now receive access to the same high-performance support other elite representative cricket teams receive.

CBA Newsroom sat down with Andrew Park – the captain of the Australian Deaf Cricket team, and a proud CommBank employee – before the series started to find out more about the International Inclusion Cricket Championships and what it means to him.

Andrew started playing cricket for the NSW Deaf Cricket team back in 2010. And, by 2011, he had made it into the National Deaf squad.

In 2018, Andrew captained the National Deaf team in India for the Deaf T20 World Cup and has been captain of the team ever since.

Andrew said the support the bank provided to the All Abilities national teams had helped the players to feel included and true members of the sport.

“The support that we receive from CommBank enables all the teams to actually be included, that’s the main thing. [It] enables us to be fully funded. Before we were fully funded we self-funded our own way through, which was quite difficult,” he said.

“We don’t have to worry about funding our way through and it has enabled us to be equal with the women’s and Indigenous teams as well, so it’s awesome to have that opportunity.”

Video Transcript

CommBank has been partnering with Cricket Australia for more than 30 years and has had a significant impact on many touch points across the game.

The Bank has supported cricket inclusion and diversity programs since 2017-18, which has helped contribute to a 29 per cent jump in participation in the sport amongst people with a disability.

Di Everett, CBA General Manager, Brand and Social said: “We are incredibly proud to support the CommBank International Inclusion Series and open the game up to more and more Australians. Our partnership with Cricket Australia is designed to make cricket inclusive and accessible for all, and we’re proud of the progress we’re making together. We wish all the teams the best of luck as they take on England and New Zealand.”

Watch the CommBank International Inclusion Series.

For more information on the Series and a list of game fixtures, visit the Cricket Australia website.