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Opinion

Celebrating the Sheffield Shield: Best ever Queensland team

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Roar Guru
25th October, 2019
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1390 Reads

Queensland entered the Shield in the early 1930’s and it took until 1995-96 for the state to taste victory, despite many great players, desperately near misses and notable imports.

As such, this team might be skewed towards its more recent era of success. The Bulls have grabbed eight titles in the last 24 years.

Set out below is the State’s greatest ever Shield Eleven, plus a second and third Eleven. See my previous article for the rules of selection. Remember that selection is solely based on a player’s career performance in the Sheffield Shield.

Check out previous entries in the series here.

Openers

Jimmy Maher
1993-2008. 141 matches. 9,086 runs at 39.33. 153 catches. Queensland won six titles during his career.

Jimmy Maher was the beating heart at the top of the order for Queensland for 15 years. Maher captained the state 52 times and scored three double centuries.

Maher has the 15th-most career Shield runs, the seventh-most career catches and the sixth-most career matches in Sheffield Shield history.

In 2000-01, Maher was the highest run-scorer for Queensland in their title win. He repeated the feat in 2005-06 and scored a double century in the Shield final win over Victoria.

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Trevor Barsby
1985-1997. 100 matches. 6,052 runs at 34.78. Queensland won two titles during his career.

Trevor Barsby does not have the career average of some, opening at the Gabba can be a tough gig. However, he was a finals specialist. In 1994-95, Barsby scored 151 in Queensland’s first ever Shield final win over South Australia. In 1996-97, Barsby was the highest run-scorer for Queensland and scored a century and half century in their Shield final away win over WA.

Middle Order

Greg Chappell
1973-1984. 52 matches. 5,037 at 69.0. 56 wickets at 29.

Greg Chappell is one of the few to make this team without a title to his name, but it was not for want of trying. Chappell owns the highest Queensland batting average in history and captain his state 45 times.

Chappell was the highest run-scorer in the competition in 1969-70 (for South Australia), 1973-74 and again in 1980-81. He has the 20th-most career Shield runs and the ninth-most career scores of 50 or more.

Prior to joining Queensland, in 1968-69 Chappell topped the season runs for South Australia and scored century in their must win final match to win the title. For South Australia topped Shield runs 1969-70.

Martin Love
1993-2009. 139 matches. 10,132 runs at 45.23. 158 catches. Queensland won six titles during his career.

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Martin Love was possibly the most underrated player in Australia during his career. His Shield record is second to none. Love has scored an amazing five centuries in Sheffield Shield finals:
– 1994-95: topped Queensland season runs and scored 146 in Queensland’s first ever Shield final win over South Australia.
– 1999-00: topped Queensland season runs and scored 100 in Shield final draw to win over Victoria.
– 2001-02: topped Shield season runs and scored 93 in Shield final win over Tasmania.
– 2004-05: scored second innings century in one wicket home Shield final loss to NSW.
– 2005-06: scored century in Shield final win over Victoria.
– 2008-09: scored second innings century in draw to lose Shield final against Victoria.

Love boasts the seventh-most career Shield runs of all time – most for Queensland, the sixth-most career catches, the ninth-most career matches, with 300 not out highest score ever for Queensland, and four double centuries.

Stuart Law
1988-2004. 142 matches. 9,034 runs at 43.85. 126 catches. Queensland won five titles during his career. 69 matches as captain – state record.

Stuart Law has a record almost as good as Love’s.
– He topped the Shield season run scoring in 1990-91.
– In 1992-93 he scored 142 in Queensland’s Shield final loss to NSW.
– In 1996-97 Law scored twin half centuries in Queensland’s Shield final away win over Western Australia (as captain).
– Then in 1999-00 he scored 129 and 84 in Shield final draw to win over Victoria.

Law has played the fifth-most career Shield matches in history and the eighth-most as captain.

James Hopes
2001-2018. 104 matches. 5,069 runs at 30.72. 296 wickets at 26.75. Queensland won four titles during his career.

James Hopes was possibly the most wholehearted cricketer I ever saw. Highlights of a career where he dragged every drop of potential from his body were: in 2011-12, he took six wickets and scored a half century in Shield final win over Tasmania. In 2012-13 took six wickets in Shield final draw to lose against Tasmania. Despite not possessing the pace of some of his contemporaries, he still took the 19th-most career wickets in Shield history.

Wicketkeeper

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Chris Hartley
2003-2017. 128 matches. 6,038 runs at 34.70. 535 catches and 15 stumpings. Queensland won three titles during his career.

Chris Hartley was a brilliant keeper who improved his batting over his career to become one of the best batting keepers in the country. Hartley has the second-most career dismissals in Sheffield Shield history and his 58 dismissals in 2011-12 was the second-most in a season (he also owns the fifth best entry on that list).

In 2011-12 Hartley scored a century in Queensland’s Shield final victory over Tasmania.

Bowlers

Despite the presence of James Hopes as a seaming all-rounder, given Queensland’s historical strengths, they will be fielding only one spinner.

Andy Bichel
1992-2007. 89 matches. 2,591 runs at 22.53. 430 wickets at 23.24 average and 45.7 strike rate. Queensland won six titles during his career.

Andy Bichel is the third highest wicket taker in Sheffield Shield history. He also has the eighth best career strike rate in Shield history, which is the best for Queensland (minimum 20 matches). At to that the fourth-most career five wickets in an innings and the seventh-most career ten wickets in a match and it’s quite a resume.

In 1999-00 Bichel topped Queensland season wickets and took six wickets in first innings of Shield final draw to win over Victoria. In 2000-01 he took another seven wickets in the Shield final win over Victoria. In 2005-06 he took the most Shield wickets for the season to help Queensland win the title. His 60 wickets in the 2004-05 season are the fourth-most series wickets in history.

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Michael Kasprowicz
1990-2008. 101 matches. 441 wickets at 24.56 average and 50.3 strike rate. Queensland won six titles during his career.

For so long Bichel’s partner in crime, Kasper ended up slightly ahead, as the second highest wicket taker in Shield history. He also took the second-most career five wickets in an innings. His innings best of eight for 44 is the second best ever for Queensland.

Kasprowicz topped the Shield season wickets in 1995-96 and again in 1996-97 as he also took eight wickets in Queensland’s Shield final away win over WA. In 2001-02 Kasprowicz again topped the Shield season wickets and took nine wickets in Queensland’s Shield final win over Tasmania. In 2002-03 he took seven wickets in Queensland’s Shield final home loss to NSW.

Jeff Thomson
1974-1986. 77 matches. 328 wickets at 24.16 average and 46.2 strike rate.

In a hot field I’ve gone for the fastest of them all, Jeff Thomson. But with 328 career wickets over 12 years, there was more to Thommo than speed. In fact, his best years at state level were in the twilight of his career. Thomson topped the Shield season wickets in 1983-84 and again 1985-86.

He has the ninth-most career wickets in Shield history and the ninth best career strike rate (minimum 20 matches) and ninth-most career five wickets in an innings.

Malcolm Francke
1971-1986. 49 matches. 146 wickets at 29.61.

Spinning resources are light on the ground in Queensland, so the spot goes to the stalwart of the 1970’s Malcolm Francke. With a best bowling of 11-184, he will come into his own if required.

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Second XI

1. Matt Hayden: 1991-2007. 89 matches. 7,913 runs at 54.95. Six titles. 234 top score. Two double centuries for Queensland. Topped Shield season runs 1991-92. Better record than the first XI but not the finals impact.

2. Bill Brown: 1936-1950. 37 matches. 4,943 runs at 56.33. 215 top score. Topped Shield season runs 1938-39 (First from Queensland to do this). Another with a brilliant record but no titles to show for it.

3. Ken Mackay: 1946-1964. 100 matches. 6,341 runs at 45.29. 122 wickets at 37.36. 223 top score. Two double centuries for Queensland. Topped Shield season runs 1952-53.

4. Peter Burge: 1953-1968. 83 matches. 7,084 runs at 56.22. 283 second top score in Queensland history. Five double centuries for Queensland.

5. Allan Border: 1980-1996. 87 matches. 6,779 runs at 54.66. 31 wickets at 34.03. 99 catches. One title. 41 games as captain. 16th-most career Shield runs. This second eleven has some impressive averages.

6. Andrew Symonds. 1994-2009. 90 matches. 4,834 runs at 35.09. 113 wickets at 30.98. Six titles. In 1998-99 scored century and took four wickets in home Shield final loss to WA. In 2001-02 scored 91 and 32 and took six wickets in Shield final win over Tasmania.

7. Wade Seccombe. 1993-2005. 101 matches. 3,207 at 25.05. 474 catches and 14 stumpings. Five titles. Third-most career dismissals in Shield history. In 2000-01 had 58 dismissals, the second-most in Shield history. Also took the fifth-most in a season twice.

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8. Ashley Noffke. 2000-2009. 68 matches. 2,430 runs at 27.93. 242 wickets at 27.48 average and 56.3 strike rate. Four titles. In 2000-01 took five wickets in first innings of Shield final win over Victoria, plus scored 43 runs in 204 balls as a night watchman. In 2001-02 took five wickets for the match and scored 47 in a Shield final win over Tasmania.

9. Craig McDermott. 1983-1995. 67 matches. 303 wickets at 25.09 average and 49.4 strike rate. One title. 16th-most career wickets. Fourth-most career five wickets in an innings. 8-44 equal second best for Queensland. In 1989-90 Topped Shield season wickets with 54 – 10th best in Shield history.

10. Peter Allan. 1959-1969. 47 matches. 192 wickets at 25.29 average and 54 strike rate. Took 10-61 in an innings against Vic in 1966 – third best innings figures in Shield history. Took three career ten wickets in a match.

11. Mick Raymer. 1947-1956. 56 matches. 1,583 runs at 21.39. 168 wickets at 30.34. Slow left arm spinner with best match figures of 10-160.

Third XI

1. Joe Burns. 2011-present. 75 matches. 5,378 runs at 41.68. two titles. 202* top score. In 2011-12 Topped Queensland season runs in title win.

2. Kepler Wessells. 1979-1986. 53 matches. 4,779 runs at 54.3. 249 top score. Two double centuries for Queensland. Topped Shield season runs 1981-82. In 1985-86 scored a century in the Shield final, drawn to lose against NSW with the opposition eight wickets down at the close.

3. Ray Reynolds. 1955-1964. 50 matches. 3,518 runs at 47.54. 203 not out top score.

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4. Sam Trimble. 1959-1976. 123 matches. 8,647 runs at 39.84. 252 not out top score. two double centuries for Queensland. 31 games as captain. Topped Shield season runs in 1964-65 and held the Queensland batting together for more than 15 years.

5. Cecil Thompson. 1926-1934. 30 matches. 2,458 runs at 49.16. 275 not out top score – third highest for Queensland.

6. Ron Oxenham. 1925-1937. 46 matches. 2,314 runs at 30.85. 167 wickets at 22.11. Best match figures 10-104. Oxenham has the tenth best career bowling average in Shield history (minimum 20 matches).

7. Don Tallon. 1933-53. 69 matches. 3,594 runs at 30.71. 145 catches and 61 stumpings.

8. Adam Dale. 1996-2003. 44 matches. 184 wickets at 22.09. four titles) – best average for any Queensland player and ninth best overall (minimum 20 matches). In 1996-97 took nine wickets in Shield final away win against WA.

9. Carl Rackemann. 1979-1996. 102 matches. 383 wickets at 26.31 average and 58.4 strike rate. one title. In 1984-85 topped Shield season wickets and took six second innings wickets in Shield final one wicket loss to NSW. In 1987-88 took five wickets in first innings of Shield final loss. Topped Shield season wickets in 1994-95 title win. sixth-most career wickets in Shield history.

10. Joe Dawes. 1997-2005. 64 matches. 238 wickets at 24.94 average and 52.2 strike rate. four titles. Topped Shield season wickets in 2000-01 title win. In 2002-03 took eight wickets in home Shield final loss to NSW.

11. Colin McCool. 1946-1952. 35 matches. 1,533 runs at 27.37. 118 wickets at 34.55. Topped Shield season wickets in 1950-51 – the first from Queensland to do so.

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Other notables and one-offs

Wes Hall (West Indies): 16 matches. 76 wickets at 24.89 average and 45.4 strike rate. Topped Shield season wickets in 1961-62.

Ross Duncan: Topped Shield season wickets in 1964-65 and 1970-71.

Andrew Ogilvie: Topped Shield season runs 1977-78.

Phil Carlson: 1970-1980. 81 matches. 3,825 runs at 29.42 and 113 wickets at 23.38.

John Maclean: 290 catches and 24 stumpings in career, ninth-most career dismissals.

Trevor Hohns: 1973-1991. 105 matches. In 1984-85 scored a century in Queensland’s one wicket Shield final loss to NSW.

Clinton Perren: In 2005-06 scored 173 in the Shield final win over Victoria.

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Mitchell Johnson: Only 17 matches. In 2005-06 took ten wickets in Queensland’s Shield final win over Victoria.

Ben Cutting: Topped Shield season wickets in 2009-10. In 2011-12 topped Queensland season wickets in title win.

Alistair McDermott: Only 18 games. In 2011-12 Took six wickets in the first innings of Queensland’s Shield final win over Tasmania.

Matt Renshaw: In 2017-18 topped Shield season runs and scored 81 not out from 83 balls in run chase in Shield final win over Tasmania.

Michael Neser: In 2017-18 topped Queensland season wickets in title win and scored half century in first innings of Shield final win over Tasmania.

Brendan Doggett: Only ten matches. In 2017-18 took five first innings wickets in Queensland’s Shield final win over Tasmania.