Australian Blind Cricket opening batter Steffan Nero has scored a world-record 309 not out off 140 balls against New Zealand in Brisbane.
- The previous record was 262, set by Pakistan's Masood Jan at the 1998 Blind Cricket World Cup
- Nero becomes the eighth Australian cricketer to score a triple century across all cricket formats
- Australia leads the series against New Zealand 6-0, with two ODIs to be played
Brisbane is currently hosting the International Cricket Inclusion Series, with the national blind squad playing five T20 and three one-day international matches against New Zealand.
Australia is leading the series 6-0, with two ODIs to be played before the series concludes on Friday.
Nero's triple century breaks the world record of 262 not out set by Pakistan's Masood Jan at the 1998 Blind Cricket World Cup.
"It's a dream in and of itself to play for Australia, so making a century for Australia is one of those lifelong memories you'll never forget," Nero said.
The record-breaking innings saw Nero smash 49 fours and one six, hit with a reverse sweep on the first delivery.
"There are times in an over where I'm just like, OK, I'm going to take this guy to town, hit him out of the park," he said.
"So, I think the ball just went into the right spot. It's one of my strengths, the reverse sweep. I play it all the time."
Asked how his body was feeling after such a long innings, Nero said the "mental strain" was the most challenging.
"I imagine for anyone — including a fully sighted person — it's a big mental strain, but with vision impairment we have to expend a lot more energy trying to concentrate, especially with the ball moving around and the glare," he said.
Dealing with glare was a topic Nero discussed last Thursday when he met with captain of the Australian women's cricket team, Meg Lanning.
With the score of 309 not out, he now becomes only the eighth Australian cricketer to score a triple century across all cricket formats, joining the likes of David Warner and Michael Clarke.
His score will also be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.
After missing out on a bat in the first match of the series, Nero has scored three consecutive centuries, including 113 (46), 101 not out (47), and 309 not out (140).
That takes his average to an extraordinary 523 runs, with a strike rate of 224.5.
Asked what he put his success down to, Nero answered: "A lot of hard work and dedication."
Originally from Western Australia, Nero moved to New South Wales to enrol in Law at Notre Dame University and he balances cricket with work and study.
"It can be quite a lot at times, [including] lots of evenings and weekends, but I've always been a very goal-driven person," Nero said.
Making his feat even more impressive was the fact that — until the current series — he had not played for Australia since 2018, with matches cancelled during the pandemic.
This year's International Cricket Inclusion series marks the first time blind, deaf and intellectual disability (ID) teams have played international cricket at the same time.
Nero said the event had attracted much-needed and welcomed media attention to the sport.
"The media exposure has been absolutely fantastic," he said.