Sydney Grade Cricket
Sydney Grade Cricket is a cricket competition played in Sydney, Australia. The competition began in 1893 when a number of clubs, which had been playing for many years on an ad hoc basis, voted to create a formal competition structure.
This competition has grown substantially and by the 2011/12 season, the Sydney Grade Cricket Competition encompassed 20 clubs. Each of the clubs fields a side in each of the five senior grades as well as a side in the Poidevin-Gray Shield and AW Green Shield junior competitions.
Clubs in the 2011–12 season of Sydney Grade Cricket were:
- Bankstown District Cricket Club – The Bulldogs play out of Bankstown Oval, one of the better grade grounds, having hosted first class matches and women's internationals. The club has won six first-grade titles, the first in 1958-59 under the captaincy of Ron Briggs, and the most recent in 2006-07. Notable Bankstown players have included all four Waugh brothers (Steve, Mark, Dean and Danny), Jeff Thomson, Len Pascoe, Corey Richards and Aaron Bird.
- Blacktown Grade Cricket Club – Nicknamed the Warriors, Blacktown participated in the Sydney Shires Competition before entering the Grade Competition in 2002-2003. Former players include Australian off spinner Gavin Robertson, NSW paceman Don Nash and West Indian bowler Corey Collymore.
- Campbelltown-Camden District Cricket Club – Nicknamed the Ghosts, the club was formed in 1985 and won its first title (the first grade limited overs crown) in 1986-87. Since then, it has won many lower grade titles. Past players of note include Ian Davis, Brett & Shane Lee, Michael Bevan and Corey Richards.
- Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club – Founded as the Waverley Cricket Club in 1894, it changed its name in 1996 to reflect a broader regional basis. Nineteen Australian players have played for the red, white and blue of the Dolphins, including the Gregory brothers, Jack Fingleton, Greg Matthews. Current players include Brad Haddin, Nathan Bracken and David Warner.
- Fairfield-Liverpool Grade Cricket Club - Nicknamed the Lions. The most notable current players are former Australian bowler Doug Bollinger and NSW players Grant Lambert and Ben Rohrer. Pat Richards rugby league footballer for Parramatta Eels, Wests Tigers and Wigan Warriors is a former player.
- Gordon District Cricket Club - The Stags were founded in 1905 and have won six first grade titles since then. They share their home ground of Chatswood Oval with Gordon rugby club. Nineteen players have gone on to represent Australia, including Victor Trumper, Charlie Macartney, Bert Oldfield, Brian Taber, Ian Davis, Adam Gilchrist and Phil Emery.
- Hawkesbury Cricket Club – Nicknamed the Hawks. Inaugurated in 1985. Their home grounds at the Bensons Lane Complex at Richmond, which includes all 3 grade grounds, are among the best wickets in the Sydney Premier competition. The main oval, Owen Earle Oval, has recently been upgraded with a new picket fence. Notable players: Stephen O'Keefe (NSW & Aust), Peter Forrest (NSW, QLD & Aust), John Hastings (Vic & Aust), Scott Henry (NSW & Qld), Anthony Kershler (NSW), and Arjun Nair (NSW). Hawkesbury also produce regular members of NSW under-17 and 19 teams.
- Manly Warringah District Cricket Club - Founded in 1878, Manly was a foundation club in the Sydney grade competition. The Waratahs have won the first grade title four times and in 2005–2006 won the club championship title. Recent players include NSW captain Stephen O'Keefe.
- Mosman Cricket Club - Former Australian cricket captain Allan Border is probably the most famous former Mosman player and, in recognition of his contribution, the club renamed its home ground Allan Border Oval. Former players include Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, his older brother and former NSW captain Shane, former England captain Andrew Strauss.
- North Sydney Cricket Club - The Bears were formed in 1893 as a foundation club in the grade competition. The club is based at North Sydney Oval, a regular venue for first class cricket in NSW. The club's most famous players include Sir Donald Bradman, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Miller, Stan McCabe, Stuart MacGill, Trevor Chappell, Doug Walters, Sid Barnes, Charles Macartney, Phil Marks and Kerry O'Keeffe. Phil Marks (ex NSW batsman) is currently the clubs batting coach.
- Northern District Cricket Club - Nicknamed the ND Rangers, Northern District is home to former Australian and NSW captain Mark Taylor, Chris Peebles, Brad Haddin, Harry Conway, Nathan Lyon, former Sri Lankan International All - Rounder Upul Chandana and former home of Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist for a season. Current club captain David Ball achieved a double hat-trick in the 2009/10 quarter final against Eastern Suburbs.
- Parramatta District Cricket Club - Formerly Central Cumberland, the club was founded in 1843 and a foundation member of the grade competition. It claims to be the oldest living club in NSW & second oldest in Australia. Home of Richie Benaud, John Benaud, Doug Walters - winner of 3 First Grade Premierships. Bob Simpson is a coaching advisor.
- Penrith District Cricket Club - Like the local rugby league team, the Penrith Cricket Club are known as the Panthers. Penrith are currently under the guidance of John Benaud as their coach. England coach, Trevor Bayliss, played his Sydney Grade Cricket career at Penrith. Penrith won the 2008/2009 club championship. Patrick Cummins also plays for Penrith, being the first test player from Penrith for some decades.
- Randwick Petersham Cricket Club – Nicknamed the Randy Petes. Home of former Australian players Simon Katich, Nathan Hauritz and Usman Khawaja. England's Monty Panesar signed with the club for the 2011/12 season.
- St George Cricket Club – Established in 1911, the club was the home of Sir Donald Bradman and Bill O'Reilly, Ray Lindwall, Arthur Morris, Brian Booth, Murray Bennett and Kerry O'Keeffe. Recent players include Moisés Henriques, Trent Copeland and Josh Hazlewood. The club became the first club to win the Sydney Grade Cricket Competition three times back to back. It achieved its 100th premiership in all grades in 2009–2010 season. The club also celebrates its centennial during the 2010–2011 season.
- Sutherland District Cricket Club – One of the newer clubs in the competition, the Sharks were formed in 1965. Past greats include current Australian Chairman of Selectors Andrew Hilditch, John Dyson, Steve Rixon, Glenn McGrath, Stuart MacGill and Stuart Clark. It is the home club of former Australian players Phil Jaques and Steve Smith as well as young NSW batsman Nic Maddinson.
- Sydney Cricket Club – A merger in 2007 between the UTS Balmain Cricket Club (a member of Grade Cricket since 1897 as Balmain) and the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust. The Tigers play out of Drummoyne Oval. The most famous players from this club are Archie Jackson, Arthur Mailey, Greg Hayne (who has scored a record 12,000 runs for the club), Graham Thorpe, Paul Awramenko, Russel Arnold, Nathan Bracken and Jason Krejza.
- Sydney University Cricket Club - Founded in 1864, it was a foundation member of the grade competition. It has four first grade titles and twenty test players including Tom Garrett, Greg Matthews, Imran Khan, Stuart Clark, Stuart MacGill and Kevin Pietersen.
- University of NSW Cricket Club Grade Cricket Club, nicknamed the Bumble Bees. Home to former Test players Geoff Lawson and Michael Slater. Entered the Grade Competition in 1973–74.
- Western Suburbs District Cricket Club – Home of Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke and fringe Australian players Phillip Hughes and Mitchell Starc. Wests have had a number of notable former Australian players such as Bobby Simpson, Dirk Wellham, Alan Davidson, Greg Dyer, Greg Matthews, Gary Gilmour and Dave Gilbert. Wests home ground is Pratten Park in Ashfield.
Sydney's suburban sprawl over the past 120 years has seen the introduction of new outer-suburban clubs and the disappearance or mergers of some inner-city clubs. The most successful club no longer in the competition is Paddington which won nine first grade titles between 1894–95 and 1953-54. Other ex-clubs include Burwood, East Sydney, Glebe and Newtown. Petersham and Marrickville had each won a first grade title prior to merging to become Petersham-Marrickville. They won four titles as a merged outfit before merging again with Randwick, which had won seven titles, to become Randwick-Petersham.
The competition consists of 20 clubs who field one side in each of the five grades. In the 1st Grade competition, each side plays every other side over a total of 19 rounds. All other grades play only 15 rounds, thus missing out on playing 4 teams each season. The additional 4 rounds that are played by the 1st Grade sides are generally one day matches that take place on Sundays (won by Sydney University in 2010/2011).
The 2010-2011 season, for all grades, includes 10 two-day matches (generally played on two consecutive Saturdays), 4 one-day matches and 1 Twenty-20 match. The 1st Grade sides played an additional one-day match and 3 Twenty20 matches. The 1st Grade Draw can be found here  and the 2nd Grade draw, which is identical to the 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade draws, can be found here .
The final series generally consists of Qualifying Finals, Semi-Finals and a Final. These matches are played over two days, with the First Grade Final being played over three days. In the Qualifying Finals, the 1st placed team plays the 6th placed team, 2nd plays 5th and 3rd plays 4th. The three winning teams (or better placed team in the case of a draw) and the best placed losing team go through to the Semi-Finals.
Points are allocated to the teams according to the results of each match. These points go towards the Club Championship which is awarded at the end of the regular season.
All of the current NSW first-class cricket players are selected from their performances in Grade Cricket. This includes those players who also represent Australia although the demands of the international schedule means the Australian players rarely get to play at grade level these days.
First Grade Premiers
- 2014/2015 Manly-Warringah
- 2013/2014 Sydney University
- 2012/2013 St George
- 2011/2012 Sydney University
- 2010/2011 Sydney University
- 2009/2010 St George
- 2008/2009 St George
- 2007/2008 St George
- 2006/2007 Bankstown
- 2005/2006 Fairfield-Liverpool
- 2004/2005 Sydney University
- 2003/2004 Eastern Suburbs
- 2002/2003 Sydney University
- 2001/2002 Fairfield-Liverpool
The Poidevin-Gray Shield, or PG's as it is more commonly known, comprises teams who represent their grade sides in an Under 21 competition. All points received in this competition go towards the Club Championship. Bankstown defeated Blacktown in the 2013/14 grand final.
A W Green Shield
The A W Green Shield, or Greenies as it is more commonly known, comprises teams who represent their grade sides in an Under 16 competition consisting of 7 preliminary rounds, qualifying finals, semi-finals and a Final.
Many of NSW's top cricketers have come through this prestigious competition. All points received in this competition go towards the Club Championship.
Allocation of Points According to Results
Aggregate of Certain Multiples of Points for Club Championship
Manly-Warringah won the title in 2014/2015.
- Grade cricket for like competitions in other states
Club Championship 2013/14
1. Sydney University 1458.00 2. Northern District 1268.00 3. Penrith 1230.00 4. Sydney 1195.70 5. Sutherland 1194.00 6. Randwick-Petersham 1174.00 7. St George 1150.00 8. Manly-Warringah 1148.00 9. Gordon 1135.00 10. Mosman 1090.00 11. Bankstown 1081.00 12. Campbelltown-Camden 981.00 13. North Sydney 892.00 14. Fairfield-Liverpool 881.60 15. Eastern Suburbs 830.00 16. Parramatta 826.00 17. Hawkesbury 784.00 18. Western Suburbs 756.00 19. Blacktown 590.00 20. UNSW 587.00
-  Archived May 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20130409021258/http://eastscricket.com.au/index.php/mens/about-us. Archived from the original on April 9, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2012. Missing or empty
- "Strauss a travelling batsman". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 November 2006.
-  Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Weet-Bix MyCricket: Sydney Grade Cricket". Sydneygrade.nsw.cricket.com.au. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "Weet-Bix MyCricket: Sydney Grade Cricket". Sydneygrade.nsw.cricket.com.au. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Official website
- Sydney Grade Cricket on Facebook
- Cricket NSW Official Site
- Bankstown District Cricket Club Site
- Blacktown Grade Cricket Club Site
- Campbelltown-Camden District Cricket Club Site
- Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club Site
- Fairfield-Liverpool Grade Cricket Club Site
- Gordon District Cricket Club Site
- Hawkesbury Grade Cricket Club Site
- Manly Warringah District Cricket Club Site
- Mosman Cricket Club Site
- North Sydney District Cricket Club Site
- Northern District Cricket Club Site
- Parramatta District Cricket Club Inc. Site
- Penrith District Cricket Club Site
- Randwick Petersham Cricket Club Site
- St George District Cricket Club Inc. Site
- Sutherland District Cricket Club Site
- Sydney University Cricket Club Site
- University of NSW Cricket Club Site
- Sydney Cricket Club Site
- Western Suburbs District Cricket Club Site