Sydney Grade Cricket

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Sydney Grade Cricket is a cricket competition played in Sydney, Australia. As of the 2016/17 season, Sydney Grade Cricket is now referred to as NSW Premier Cricket. The name change was part of a Cricket Australia initiative to standardise the naming of the elite men's cricket competition within each state's capital city. The competition began in 1893 when a number of clubs that had been playing for many years on an ad hoc basis voted to create a formal competition structure.[1]

History[edit]

This competition has grown substantially since its formation and by 1985 the Sydney Grade Cricket Competition encompassed 20 clubs. Since the 1940s there had been a number of club mergers (Mosman with Middle Harbour, Petersham with Marrickville and Glebe with South Sydney followed in 1965 by the forced merger of Paddington with Glebe-South Sydney to form Sydney District CC). In 1965 Sutherland joined the competition, followed by Nepean (now Penrith) and University of NSW in 1973. In 1985 Sydney District CC left the competition but 3 new clubs from the outer suburbs of Sydney joined - Fairfield, Campbelltown and Hawkesbury. In the late 1990s there was a push to remove some inner-city clubs from the competition, but although no clubs were forced out, in 2001 Randwick and Petersham-Marrickville (itself the product of a merger in 1951) decided to merge and formed the Randwick Petersham club. Some clubs were re-named to reflect their wider representation (Waverley renamed as Eastern Suburbs, Fairfield becoming Fairfield-Liverpool and Campbelltown becoming Campbelltown-Camden). Finally in 2002 Blacktown were promoted from the second-tier shires competition to bring the number of clubs back up to 20. Each of the 20 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.

The NSW Premier Cricket competition is generally played on Saturdays and begins in mid-September and continues until the grand final is played on the first weekend of April. Spectators are generally few and far between at matches, mostly family members, partners or club members. The exception to this is at T20 matches which can attract crowds into the hundreds and occasionally the low thousands.

In recent times some clubs have started broadcasting scorecards in real-time on the Cricket Australia website. Some clubs also have detailed video and photographs each weekend. Most but not all clubs actively update their website and have information across a variety of social media platforms.

Players for the NSW team are selected from the first-grade competition. While modern day cricketers have few breaks outside the international calendar, when they do NSW players often return to play in the first-grade competition. Sydney grade cricket also has a proud history of welcoming budding, current or former first-class and Test cricketers from around the world. Players are primarily sourced from England's county competition. In 2015/16, there were over 10 players in the competition plying their trade in the first-grade competition. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss amongst others played seasons in Sydney. Such is the strength of the competition that some well-known players have been known to play multiple matches in second grade.

To address shortcomings in players making the transition from first-grade to State cricket, two seasons ago a different type of ball was introduced into the first-grade competition. This ball is the same used by state players but had not previously been used due to its cost (A$150 each). While the ball is still a four-piece ball, its seam is less pronounced and more difficult to swing. Bowlers, in particular fast bowlers, have had to work much harder at getting wickets. Since its introduction scores within the competition have increased. There have been higher team and individual scores (400+ scores by teams are not the rare occurrence they once were).

Clubs[edit]

Clubs in the 2018/19 season of NSW Premier Cricket are:

Former clubs[edit]

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 9 first grade titles between 1894/95 and 1953/54 before being forced to merge with Glebe-South Sydney to form the Sydney District CC in 1965 - this merged club later left the competition in 1985. Other ex-clubs include a previous club called Sydney that won 3 titles, East Sydney (the inaugural first grade champion in 1893/94), Glebe (5 titles), South Sydney, Canterbury, Redfern, Middle Harbour, Leichhardt and Newtown. Petersham and Marrickville had each won a first grade title prior to merging to become Petersham-Marrickville. They won 4 titles as a merged outfit before merging again with Randwick, which had won 7 titles, to become Randwick-Petersham.

NSW Premier Cricket[edit]

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 2010/11 season, for all grades, included 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 [3] and the 2nd Grade draw, which is identical to the 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade draws, can be found here [4].

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 Premier 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[edit]

  • 2017/18 Parramatta
  • 2016/17 Sydney University
  • 2015/16 Bankstown
  • 2014/15 Manly-Warringah
  • 2013/14 Sydney University
  • 2012/13 St George
  • 2011/12 Sydney University
  • 2010/11 Sydney University
  • 2009/10 St George
  • 2008/09 St George
  • 2007/08 St George
  • 2006/07 Bankstown
  • 2005/06 Fairfield-Liverpool
  • 2004/05 Sydney University
  • 2003/04 Eastern Suburbs
  • 2002/03 Sydney University
  • 2001/02 Fairfield-Liverpool

Poidevin-Gray Shield[edit]

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.

A W Green Shield[edit]

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.

The North Sydney Bears team of 2008/09 is regarded as the best team to win the A. W. Green Shield, defeating Blacktown three times that season including in the final at North Sydney Oval.

Club Championship[edit]

Won by the club with the highest competition points in aggregate across all 5 grades plus points from the PG and Green Shield competitions. Points are only accrued across round matches and do not include finals.

For each club, each grades' points tally is multiplied by a factor for the purposes of calculating Club Championship points. A point in first grade is worth more than second grade and so on. Due to this system, the winner of the Club Championship usually comes from a club whose first-grade team is within the top 6. However, consistency across the top 3 grades in particular is important.

Club Championship Factors

First grade = 6 points per competition point, Second grade = 5, Third = 4,Fourth = 3, Fifth/PG/Green Shield = 2...

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1] Archived May 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ AA
  3. ^ "Annual Report - Easts Cricket Club 2015-2016". Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  4. ^ 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 |title= (help)
  5. ^ "(23) Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club - Posts: ESCC 1st GRADE PLAYERS 1894 - PRESENT". Facebook. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Strauss a travelling batsman". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 November 2006.
  7. ^ [2] Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]