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1st grade? Crowds at Matador games?

MattPom

Cricket Spectator
What standard would 1st grade cricket be in England? I've read county championship standard but we've never signed anyone at a county team in England who wasn't playing for a state like Queensland etc so that can't be true?? Do international players or state plsyers play for grade teams when not busy. Is state cricket a higher level than 1st grade? Would our county cricketers make 1st grade cricket easily if they went over

Why are crowds so poor in your Sheffield shield games. I know we only get a few hundred for our championship games here but when I see your games there is literally nobody there?
What's even more surprising is in the Matador cup nobody goes yet in our royal one day cup we get good crowds. I. see you get great crowds in your big bash but rest of it nobody seems to attend?

Finally we have an established 1st team player for us and sent over. Is this 1st grade? What crowds would they get at Gordoncc?

Parkinson, who was named Young Player of the Year on Tuesday evening, will play at Gordon Cricket Club, the club for whom Mason Crane excelled on his ECB Overseas Placement last winter, which has helped him secure a place in the England squad for the Ashes this winter.

The leg spinner will play in the New South Wales Premier competition


Thanks
 

MattPom

Cricket Spectator
One other question why don't state teams sign top English players for the season like we sign top Aussie players
How come they're in grade cricket and lower but not state. I know you take them in the big bash but why not 1st class games.it can't be they're not good enough

Cheers
 

Burgey

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Yes, Shield cricket is higher than grade cricket. Shield teams draw their players from grade sides. I would expect County Cricket to be higher than grade and probably by a fair margin, given it’s the selection pool for international teams.

As for crowds, I don’t know that there’s a definitive answer. Despite the mythology, I understand Shield crowds were rarely very big in the past unless Bradman was playing, and certainly not since there’s been a visiting international team here every year. There is littleShield Cricket played during holidays - that’s taken up with internationals and the BBL.

Gordon play in the Sydney grade competition which is called Premier Cricket. Theres five teamsper club, 20 clubs.

I’m not entirely sure why so few foreign players play Shield tbh.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
It wouldnt surprise me if the standard of grade cricket has declined over the years as test (especially) and state players hardly play it at all due to the amount of pro stuff around

Back in the day, it was not uncommon to play against the rep players for at least the first part of the season, Xmas and late on

In those times, I'd have rated the standard as being somewhere between County and County 2nds standard with a couple of teams being more than capable of competing at county level when at full strength
 

Tom Flint

International 12th Man
1st grade is definately not stronger than the county championship. Last year I went to watch penrith in a league game at home to whichever team mason crane was playing for. There was about 10 people watching, and other than me and a couple of club volunteers they were all the players parents, just like any local club game in england. The standard was brilliant and most players could play first class cricket, but the team itself wasnt as good as a div 2 county team. But then the same penrith side played in the new south wales one day cup final a few weeks later and pat cummins opened the bowling and took a 3 fer i think at about 5 rpo, so didnt exactly skittle the oppo and his playing in the ashes this year. Its a strange set up out there, but thats australia for you i guess
 

Burgey

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The structure here is pretty linear though. You play juniors, junior reps, go to a grade club then work you way up the ranks. The Futures League has bastardised it a bit though, in that the emphasis on young players means if you haven't made it to Shield by a certain age, for the most part they won't look at you. I think that's pretty ordinary - some people develop late. The other thing which I've noticed is that since they've put the "pathways" program (or Junior Blues as it used to be called in NSW), very very few blokes who've been ID'ed at really young ages like under 12s or 13s end up making it. I think they get burnt out tbh. I know a young bloke who's a terrific kid who's been in NSW squads for years, and he's at the point where I reckon if they don't manage him he'll get the ****s with it because its becoming a chore.

I agree with Social that it's not as strong as it was - for a start, in Sydney there used to be 16 clubs, now there are 20. That in itself dilutes the standard a bit.

I understand the situation in England is more school/ college based, which is helpful in keeping the Proles out I suppose.
 
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social

Hall of Fame Member
The structure here is pretty linear though. You play juniors, junior reps, go to a grade club then work you way up the ranks. The Futures League has bastardised it a bit though, in that the emphasis on young players means if you haven't made it to Shield by a certain age, for the most part they won't look at you. I think that's pretty ordinary - some people develop late. The other thing which I've noticed is that since they've put the "pathways" program (or Junior Blues as it used to be called in NSW), very very few blokes who've been ID'ed at really young ages like under 12s or 13s end up making it. I think they get burnt out tbh. I know a young bloke who's a terrific kid who's been in NSW squads for years, and he's at the point where I reckon if they don't manage him he'll get the ****s with it because its becoming a chore.

I agree with Social that it's not as strong as it was - for a start, in Sydney there used to be 16 clubs, now there are 20. That in itself dilutes the standard a bit.

I understand the situation in England is more school/ college based, which is helpful in keeping the Proles out I suppose.
Social Jnr's coach is a former test player and he has advised me to keep him out of "the system" for a while as he has seen lots of kids drop by the wayside due to pressure, overwork, etc

Cricket is not Robinson Crusoe in that regard either
 

mr_mister

Hall of Fame Member
It seems to still be who you know though. I'd take any chance to put my kid in the in circle with those emerging blues things if they were really keen on a cricket career

But for me any kind of celebrity status in society is very unappealing. They aren't happy people
 

TheJediBrah

Hall of Fame Member
1st grade is definately not stronger than the county championship.
Well of course it isn't. Grade cricket in Australia is like 15-20 teams, per state. County cricket in England is ~18 teams for the whole country. And there is a **** load more people in England than in Australia to choose from as well, and probably a higher proportion of those interested in cricket (that's speculation).
 

morgieb

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Well of course it isn't. Grade cricket in Australia is like 15-20 teams, per state. County cricket in England is ~18 teams for the whole country. And there is a **** load more people in England than in Australia to choose from as well, and probably a higher proportion of those interested in cricket (that's speculation).
Yeah from what I can tell that's bull**** (a higher proportion of people being interested in cricket in England than Australia).
 

TheJediBrah

Hall of Fame Member
Yeah from what I can tell that's bull**** (a higher proportion of people being interested in cricket in England than Australia).
As I said, it was pure speculation, but from what I've seen it definitely seems that way. Aus fans seem to have taken to Big Bash well enough though.
 

S.Kennedy

International Vice-Captain
The term ''first-class'' (cricket) is your clue. First-class=County Championship and Shield. They both have equal stature (alongside the Ranji Trophy, Plunket Shield, etc). The stats are chucked together when deriving a player's statistics, assuming the player has played multiple competitions, e.g. Handscomb's fc stats will derive from both Victoria and Yorkshire.

The Shield actually opened up its doors to overseas players at about the same time as the County Championship did, e.g. Botham and Richards at Queensland; Sobers at South Australia; Holding at Tazmania; Imran Khan, etc. For some reason, at some point in the 1980s, the Shield simply stopped using overseas players - Mason Crane was a throwback - whereas the County Championship continued with overseas players and they still remain today, albeit reduced to one per team unlike the old days where it was two per team.

Presumably grade cricket equates English club cricket? 1st Grade would be roughly analogous to our Premier Leagues.

No idea why Australian crowds are so poor for their domestic competitions - I think I asked this once myself. I actually watched last years Shield final streamed and there was not a single person watching live! It was being played in the middle of nowhere, in some shanty town and there was not a bugger there, the final of the Sheffield Shield!!
 

stephen

Hall of Fame Member
Jack Leach, who is on the verge of English selection played first grade for a local club a few years back as an overseas player.

Shield spots are very limited though and most sides wouldn't want a young overseas pro when they could play local guys instead.

As far as first class competitions go, the Shield is the strongest due to the fact that there are only 6 teams in the competition and they only play a dozen games a year. Each game takes on a lot of importance and selection is brutal and cut throat.

Club cricket is a level below County cricket though. There are a heap of premier club sides in each state and 5-6 grades in each competition. It's still a tough competition, especially given the exclusivity of the Shield. A number of guys who would be good enough for a county gig are playing grade every weekend. Some clubs get filled with state cricketers for a couple of games per season. I know UQ generally has about 3-5 Shield players at any one time. Valleys have Feldman, Khawaja and Wildermouth. So in the round or two where the international/state players aren't playing, club cricket can have some pretty good players.
 

Midwinter

International 12th Man
At the shield games I have attended at the MCG, about 500 have attended each day, this includes the MCC members.

There is only one part of the ground open to spectators aside from the MCC members area, which is the section adjacent to the MCC members area on the Punt Rd end.

Having only a section of the ground open does lead to the weird experience of the rest of the ground being empty, Depending on where any cameras were pointed, it would give the impression there is no one there.

After Tassie was admitted to the Shield competition they were allowed an import to help strengthen their team.

But I think it was the policy of the governing body was not to allow overseas players in the Shield teams during the1990's and 2000's.

I think it still is.

Not sure why but possibly for financial reasons to prevent states bringing in big names at great expense and sending themselves broke and also to avoid the problem in county cricket of overseas players preventing the development of young local players .

HTH
 

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