Representing your country at the highest level is always an honour. For blind cricketer Michael Zannis, winning the recent Commonwealth Bank International Cricket Inclusion Series was special because it marked a return to the game he loves.
“This was my first international game since 2018. It’s an incredible achievement I will forever remember,” says Michael.
Taking on New Zealand, Michael scored 158 runs and took 3 wickets, a stunning effort which helped the Australians win all their games against New Zealand.
For Michael, the path to success was not always easy, and in fact, his blindness left him doubting his ability to compete in sports. Michael lost vision in both his eyes after a freak childhood accident at the age of just 6.
“I was always very sporty – athletics, swimming, cycling. When the accident happened, I had to take time to deal with it.”
Without vision, Michael wrongly assumed his participation in sport was over. Michael’s high school PE teacher Denis was instrumental in getting Michael’s sporting dreams back on track, introducing him to Blind Cricket and giving him the confidence to succeed.
The game quickly became a passion of Michael’s, eventually leading him to train and play with Blind Cricket SA, and then representing Australia many times over the past two decades.
“If you can help someone out, you do, and that is what my high school PE teacher Denis did for me. He showed me the direction to take and gave me the confidence I have today.”
Besides a love for cricket, Michael’s other passion is working at RSB as a braille trainer, supporting other vision-impaired people to keep moving forward.