The ACA Masters will join the Imparja Cup this weekend, playing a match against the Black Caps, before taking on a mentoring role as they look to help advocate Indigenous cricket in Australia.
The tour is aimed at assisting in growing the participation of Indigenous male and female cricketers across Australia by developing, inspiring and motivating Indigenous cricketers to play cricket.
The Imparja Cup, Australian Cricket’s national Indigenous tournament, is into its 22nd year, having grown from a two-team local competition between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek into a national event.
The tournament will open with a match between an all-star XI from last year’s carnival and the ACA Masters, featuring past and present Australian cricket stars.
The week-long tournament, which brings together more than 500 players representing states and territories, major centres, communities and schools will begin on Sunday 8 February at Traegar Park beneath the McDonnell Ranges.
Western Australia returns to Alice Springs as the reigning Cup holder, while the NSW women's team will embark on a campaign to make it eight straight titles.
The 12 months since last year's Imparja Cup have been significant for Indigenous cricket.
Nine Indigenous cricketers - two fulltime contracted players and seven rookies - featured in the fourth KFC T20 Big Bash League.
Contracted players Josh Lalor (Sydney Thunder) and Dan Christian (Brisbane Heat) were joined by rookies Ryan Lees (Hobart Hurricanes), Josh Eaton (Melbourne Stars), Brett Russell (Sydney Sixers), Jonte Pattison (Sydney Thunder), Brendan Doggett (Brisbane Heat), Ayden McGregor-Baptista (Adelaide Strikers) and Michael Bailey (Perth Scorchers). Five rookie-contracted players will play in the 2015 Imparja Cup.
Following the Masters' match against the representative Black Caps team, they will work with the teams, offering advice to coaches and players to assist in their development.
ACA Masters team