The popular tournament which has been a launchpad for current and former Australian players including D’Arcy Short, Ashleigh Gardner and Dan Christian, will continue to be held alongside the long running Imparja Cup, which features community teams from across Australia.
The new three year deal was announced by Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industries and Resources, Ken Vowles, at the Championships Presentation Dinner.
Minister Vowles has a long and proud association with the tournament.
“One of the proudest things I’ve ever done is captain the Northern Territory side of the Imparja Cup."
Prior to running for office, he was the NT Cricket Development Officer based in Alice Springs, and represented the Territory in the Imparja Cup States and Territories division (now known as the NICC) for many years.
“One of the proudest things I’ve ever done is captain the Northern Territory side of the Imparja Cup,” the Minister told this year’s crop of players.
“The second proudest thing I’ve ever done is played in the Imparja Cup with my son.”
Cricket Australia board member Earl Eddings, who is one of the co-chairs of the organisation’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee said the twin tournaments had grown bigger each year.
He said over 600 participants had taken part in the NICC and Imparja Cup competitions this year.
“I feel it’s the spiritual home of Indigenous Cricket in Australia, so its really important we keep the Championships here for the next three years,” Mr Eddings said.
The announcement is a further boost for cricket in the Territory, with the NT Government recently committing $6.2 million to improve community sporting infrastructure in Alice Springs.
It includes upgrades to the facilities and change rooms at several NICC venues, including the Jim McConville Oval and Albrecht Oval.
And Vowles promised players wouldn’t have to wait long to reap the benefits.
“You’ll see the improvements when you come back next year and following years,” he said.
“We must upgrade our facilities here so we can be the nations best cricketing facility for the Imparja Cup”.