Sydney: The Home of Australian Cricket?
Updated: May 17
If you look round the globe at some of the hubs of cricketing talent it is hard to look past Sydney.
Australia has a proud cricketing heritage and the first recorded game in Australia happened in Sydney in 1803. Much has changed since that first recorded match and Sydney has gone on to become a city internationally famous for its sport which has not just been limited to cricket. Sydney has hosted Rugby World Cup Finals, State of Origin, The Olympics and is due to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup Final. It is no surprise therefore that Sydney has provided a steady flow of cricketing talent over the years.
Sydney is home to the world famous SCG, one of the great grounds in the world. While it may have become more of a stadium than a ground over the years, it has kept it’s beautiful Victorian pavilion which overlooks the ground surrounded by modern stands.
The SCG has seen some of the great moments in cricket history: An under-pressure Steve Waugh scoring a century in the final game of the 2002/3 Ashes, Brian Lara’s first Test Hundred, 277 in 1993, after which he named his daughter Sydney*, Pink Tests, Graeme Smith’s broken hand, the scene of Warne, Langer and McGrath’s final farewell in 2007 and Lillee, Chappell and Marsh’s retirement in 1984. The SCG has had it all.
Domestically, Sydney and the SCG is the home of New South Wales Cricket, the breeding ground of some of the greatest Australian cricketers of all time, to list them off would take an afternoon but to name just a few; Don Bradman, the Waughs, Gilchrist, McGrath, Steve Smith, Fred Spofforth, Richie Benaud and Brett Lee shows you the depth of talent this state has produced. As such it is hardly surprising that they have won the Sheffield Shield 47 times, more than 15 times more than any other state.
On top of this, Sydney is also host to two BBL sides: the Sixers and the Thunder, the latter using the Sydney Showground. Out of the 9 years of the competition, a Sydney side has won 3 times.
Away from the domestic scene, Sydney Grade Cricket is some of the most competitive non-first class cricket in the world. Amongst the recent graduates from Sydney Grade include David Warner, Peter Nevill, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc. The depth of talent is absolutely outstanding and it is no wonder that many county cricketers flock to Sydney grade in winter to prove their worth.
Much like naming Yorkshire as the true home of English cricket; naming Sydney as the home of Australian cricket is a contentious decision. Neighbours Victoria would have a few things to say about Sydney being named as the Home of Australian Cricket. Their own hub, the MCG, is seen as the spiritual home of Australian Cricket. However, for the purposes of this article, we declare Sydney and NSW to be the epitome of Australian cricket.
All Time Sydney XI
Adam Gilchrist (wk)
Sir Gubby Allen
*Rather than where he made his debut, Lahore.