The Sheffield Shield has been bolstered recently with an influx of Australian representative players bringing renewed interest into the competition.
The introduction of T20 cricket, along with other factors, saw the public’s interest in the domestic four day competition dwindle throughout the mid 2000’s.
For many, the Sheffield Shield will always be the ‘Pura Milk Cup’ where aspiring young cricketers would test themselves against seasoned and established veterans.
It was state vs state and the competition that was used as a measuring stick for players, selectors and public to judge if you had earned the right to wear the baggy green or not.
It was where we formed the long held belief that the Australian selectors had a bias toward NSW players, a dig that simply doesn’t resonate with the younger generation of cricket fans today.
In a hope to revitalize, remember and recall those important cricketers of our youth we give you the Forgotten Domestic Cricketers XI.
1. Michael Di Venuto
First Class Batting Average: 45.90
Michael Di Venuto is a name that resonates with many cricketing fans of the 90s especially those from the Apple Isle.
Born in another era, he would have had a long and successful career in the baggy green but alas Di Venuto still brought plenty of joy to those that saw him play.
2. Jamie Cox
First Class Batting Average: 42.69
Jamie Cox opened the batting plenty of times with our first selection in this Forgotten Domestic Cricketers XI in what was a golden era of Tasmanian cricket.
Cox hit 10,821 in the Sheffield Shield which is the second most of any batsman since 1980 (behind Darren Lehmann) which included 30 cnturies.
Just like Di Venuto he did not play a single Test Match for his country.
He is currently the General Manager of Football Performance at the St Kilda Football Club.
3. Ryan Campbell (WK)
State: Western Australia
First Class Batting Average: 36.41
Ryan Campbell was an unorthodox batsman who was before his time with his ability to create shots to beat the field.
There were many kids attempting this crazy new ramp shot that they had seen Campbell produce during his innings and there is no doubt that he had an impact on the way the game is played today.
It is a real shame that T20 cricket was not invented while he was playing although he did represent Hong Kong at the 2016 World T20 at the age of 44.
4. Martin Love
First Class Batting Average: 49.57
Martin Love had a long and successful career in the Sheffield Shield including being a part of the Invincibulls team that delivered Queensland their first Shield victory in 1994/95.
He became a hero in the Sunshine State when he made 146 in the final and despite his five Test Matches for his country we are making the decision that this is his biggest achievement.
He scored 100* in his final Test Match for Australia and 219* in his final Shield game for Queensland.
5. Richard Chee Quee
State: New South Wales
First Class Batting Average: 28.58
Richard Chee Quee doesn’t have the credentials of a few others on this list in terms of talent but the nostalgia is through the roof and he gets a spot in the middle order.
He managed one century and six 50s but is possibly better known for being a part of Brett Lee’s rock band ‘Six and Out’.
6. James Brayshaw
State: Western Australia and South Australia
First Class Batting Average: 42.53
We now know him as a cricket and Aussie Rules commentator as well as the former Chairman of the North Melbourne Football Club but James Brayshaw was once a pretty handy cricketer.
He won the Shield twice as a player for two different states in 87/88 for W.A and 95/96 for S.A.
7. Ashley Nofke
First Class Batting Average: 26.77
First Class Bowling Average: 28.58
Ashley Nofke played for the Bulls from 1998-2009 and was a more than handy bowling all rounder.
He played a single ODI for his country in 2008 against India and made the Aussie squad that went to England for the 2001 Ashes series however he was injured in the field in the final tour game and never received a baggy green.
He made a diamond duck in his only T20 International as well as 3/18.
8. Brad McNamara
First Class Batting Average: 27.78
First Class Bowling Average: 26.82
In an era where just about every cricketer that donned the light blue cap in Shield cricket exchanged it for a baggy green one, Brad McNamara plugged away for his state in their absence.
Plenty of summers were spent watching Brad McNamara run in off a very modest run up to trouble batsman with his change of pace and accuracy.
He still holds the Blues record 10th wicket partnership of 138 that he made with Phil Alley during the 1999/00 season.
He was the best man at Steve Waugh’s wedding and is the second member of this particular squad to play in the band ‘Six and Out’.
9. David Saker
First Class Batting Average: 19.77
First Class Bowling Average: 30.10
David Saker was a popular state cricketer in the late 90s and early 00s playing the majority of his career with the Victorian Bushrangers.
Very handy with the ball but also managed four half centuries and even opened the batting at times in limited overs games.
He also bowled one of the most vicious deliveries of all time in Hobart during the 2001/02 season.
10. Adam Dale
First Class Batting Average: 15.05
First Class Bowling Average: 20.75
Adam Dale was an extremely versatile and difficult medium pace swing bowler for the Queensland Bulls from 1995 to 2003.
He played 15 ODI and two Tests for his country.
He also took the greatest catch in the history of cricket.
11. Jo Angel
State: Western Australia
First Class Batting Average: 12.26
First Class Bowling Average: 25.10
Jo Angel was a staple in the Western Australia bowling attack for the majority of the 1990s and early 00s finishing his career with a record 419 Sheffield Shield wickets for Western Australia.
He played four Test Matches for Australia and on debut he managed to hit Desmond Haynes in the face with a short ball forcing him to retire hurt.
Wasn’t bad at a good ol fashion send off either.