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View Poll Results: Strongest First-Class Competition

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  • County Championship

    13 31.71%
  • Sheffield Shield

    17 41.46%
  • SuperSport Series

    3 7.32%
  • West Indies Regional Four Day Competition

    0 0%
  • Ranji Trophy

    2 4.88%
  • Plunket Shield

    2 4.88%
  • Sri Lanka Premier League

    0 0%
  • Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

    1 2.44%
  • Logan Cup

    0 0%
  • National Cricket League of Bangladesh

    0 0%
  • Darwin and District Junior Cricket Association U15's

    3 7.32%
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Thread: Strongest First-Class Competition

  1. #1
    International Vice-Captain Noble One's Avatar
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    Strongest First-Class Competition

    Throughout the 1990's and 2000's it was rightfully claimed that the Sheffield Shield was the premier format of First-Class competition. The standard of cricket was high, it was tough to break into a state squad, and many regarded it as the perfect mix of team numbers and games played.

    In recent seasons, it has become clearly obvious that the Sheffield Shield has experienced a significant decline in quality. The six state sides no longer have the depth of talent and the likes of James Faulkner (a modest left-arm seamer) can dominate the competition.

    With the Sheffield Shield no longer the clear number one, which competition now holds the mantle of the strongest First-Class competition in the world? Have all competitions experienced a decline due to the decreased involvement of international players? Is a strong domestic structure still necessary to produce consistent World Class talent?

    Vote away. Apologies if I have a local tournament named incorrectly.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Probably wouldn't have gone for the CC even five years ago, and even now don't seek to suggest the second division is all that strong, but the top half dozen in Division one are very competitive

  3. #3
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    The South African system seems to produce a lot of talent, so I'll go for them.

  4. #4
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    I'd be whistling in the dark, really. We very rarely get any county championship stuff shown up here (Sky carries about two non-test FC games a season, one of which is sometimes a Loins game) and never any other countries' domestic games.

    I'd guess logic would say the SS or the Currie Cup (or whatever it's called now) would be close tho. Fewer FC entities means a greater concentration of talent.
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  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member Cevno's Avatar
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    Tough one this.

    Do not really know what to rate the competitions against each other on.

  6. #6
    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    How the hell can anyone tell without being a global groundhopper?

  7. #7
    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    In the 90s and 00s it was a bit easy to say since SS was so ridiculously rich with talent. Nowadays I doubt that is still the case. Plenty of talent there but the Test team struggling leaves one to doubt it. Don't know enough about the others to honestly compare and vote.
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  8. #8
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    I suppose the dear old CC has a decent case too, now I think about it.

    The majority of the last two dominant test nations (Windies and Oz) have at least been partly schooled in the CC. When they weren't terrifying test batsmen yer Ambroses and yer Walshes put in full shifts with Northants and Glous.

    Even now our being in the EU means anyone with a European passport can play here as a "domestic" player. The rules over Kolpaks have (thankfully) been tightened, but we're powerless to stop the likes of Pothas (Greek passport), Di Venuto (Italian) or ten Doeschate (Dutch).

  9. #9
    International Coach morgieb's Avatar
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    Shield is probably still #1. Too many gun Saffies don't play in their domestic comp, and the Pommy one is propped up by overseas players.
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  10. #10
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    Don't think there is anything much to debate over this. South African FC cricket is clearly well ahead of those in other parts of the world.

  11. #11
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    Indian stuff tbh, when they do those North Zone vs. South Zone style matches. Easily the highest quality.

    The next tier down would be Saffa first divison, English first division and Aussie stuff.
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  12. #12
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    Not really sure about this one. Gut says Australia so SS has my vote.

    Ranji Trophy has way too many teams which dilutes the quality.

  13. #13
    JJD Heads Athlai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaze 18 View Post
    Not really sure about this one. Gut says Australia so SS has my vote.

    Ranji Trophy has way too many teams which dilutes the quality.
    That Zonal shindig should count as a first class competition tbh.

  14. #14
    Hall of Fame Member Cevno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlai View Post
    Indian stuff tbh, when they do those North Zone vs. South Zone style matches. Easily the highest quality.

    The next tier down would be Saffa first divison, English first division and Aussie stuff.
    The Duleep Trophy.

    The standard is pretty good in that tournament and it is also a first class tournament,but still the primary competition is the RanjI Trophy.

  15. #15
    International Vice-Captain Noble One's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to hear more about the impact of the IPL on the Indian first-class competition.

    An expected outcome of having the best young cricketers in India exposed to some of the worlds best coaches, the wisdom of some of the worlds best cricketers and the pressure of playing in front of packed crowds would have a flow on effect into the Ranji Trophy.

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