Sunday 21 July will see defending Friends Life t20 champions Hampshire Royals host cricket's newest format: ParaT10.
Prior to the Royals’ home game with Kent Spitfires, there will be the bonus of 20 disabled and visually impaired cricketers taking part in a 10-over match. Featuring players with a range of physical and learning impairments from across Hampshire, the event will see the newly devised format make its first appearance in front of an expected large crowd at the Ageas Bowl.
Devised by Hampshire captain of the Bluebird Care County Incrediball team Michael Powell, the game will provide spectators with an insight into the mental and physical challenges which disability cricketers overcome in every match and training session. It will also feature a unique ‘super over’ with two Hampshire Royals stars performing the ParaT10 powerplay over while wearing visually impaired simulation goggles.
Powell said: "ParaT10 came about as a result of contemplating how we could integrate and adapt the hugely successful global T20 format for the less able bodied and visually impaired athletes. After lengthy discussions and trials we realised that a scaled down 10 players per side, 10 overs per innings would be the platform for us".
ParaT10 will also form part of the 'Royals family day' theme with a number of local charity partners having presence. Hampshire Cricket will also donate proceeds from the day to Hampshire Cricket Community Trust, the official charity partner of the club.
Hampshire Cricket Community Trust manager Simon Fox said: "It's quite a coup, and a real honour, for the trust and Ageas Bowl to be hosting the pilot model of a game that could become synonymous, and a genuine sport of choice, for many disabled and visually impaired people.
"Hampshire Cricket have been particularly supportive in holding this event as well as donating proceeds to the trust, helping us expand our outreach and impact in the community. It will be a great family day for all and a ground-breaking new dawn for disability cricket."
Charity partners Naomi House, U Support, Sue Ryder Care, Fareham & Active Blind Club and The Rainbow Centre will also be present on the day with stalls and information showcasing their individual work and impact for worthy groups across the county.