An ACT cricketer is ridding the misconceptions that blind people don’t play cricket, Michael Hamilton doesn’t believe in sporting barriers. And why should he? He bats, he bowls and he captains the ACT squad – all while legally blind. Michael is currently competing in Cricket Australia’s inaugural All Abilities Championships, with one of the competitions dedicated to Blind Cricket teams from around the country.
The Aubury local has Congenital Nystagmus and Ocular Albanism– the same condition his brother has – but hasn’t once let that deter his sporting dreams. The condition involves the involuntary movement of the eye muscles, sensitivity to brightness and a “binocular” view – more commonly referred to as tunnel vision. For all of the information that Michael takes in, his brain can only compute about one-fifth of it, which can sometimes prove problematic. But despite the ailment, Michael says the goals of him and his teammates are the same as any other cricket loving kid.
“Everyone wants to play for their country. These guys have skill and ability and they have the exact same mindset as the top players who are playing in the World Cup at the moment,” Michael explained.
For a player with just three years’ experience, Michael shows great maturity and a calm presence around his teammates for someone who incidentally fell into the sport.
“It all started with a come and try day and since then I have travelled the country and the world, playing in Adelaide, Brisbane and now Melbourne,” Michael explained. “I even had the chance to go to South Africa recently for the World Cup.”
The 23-year-old’s outlook on the game is that cricket is a sport for all and there are no obstacles in enjoying the game.
“We have an inability which I see as an ability. We come together as a team, we communicate, we work as this solid unit and we have to because everybody is a link in this chain.”