Australian blind cricket team opener Steffan Nero has smashed a longstanding world record with an astonishing unbeaten 309 off 140 balls at the International Cricket Inclusion Series.
The batsman’s triple century broke the previous benchmark of 262 not out, set by Pakistan’s Masood Jan at the 1998 Blind Cricket World Cup. “It’s a dream in itself to play for Australia so to make a century for Australia is one of those lifelong memories you will never forget,” Nero said after making his third straight century at the tournament in Brisbane.
It followed knocks of 113 (off 46 balls) and 101 not out (47), and leaves him with a scarcely believable average of 523. It also included the first six of the tournament, a magnificent reverse sweep over the ropes at Shaw Park.
Nero said the secret to his success was a lot of hard work and dedication. “It’s a lot of evenings, weekends, along with university and work it can be quite a lot at time,” he said. “But also the support around me. There have been days when I didn’t want to train but [coach Jason Stubbs] said ‘keep going’ and pushed me through.”
Blind cricket is much like the conventional form of the game, with a few key differences – the ball is plastic and makes a noise when it moves, and the stumps are made of metal to generate more noise when stuck by the ball. Bowling is underarm and the ball must bounce at least twice before it reaches the batter.