Queensland's first Sheffield Shield match - 90th anniversary

Although Australia's domestic first-class cricket competition, the Sheffield Shield, had been in existence since 1892, Queensland was not admitted until 1926. Prior to this Sheffield Shield matches were played between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia only.

Queensland XI team for Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales, Brisbane, Queensland, 1926. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 74140

Queensland XI team for Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales, Brisbane, Queensland, 1926. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 74140

Queensland's first-class debut match in the competition occurred at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground on November 26, 1926 against New South Wales.  The previous day, a civic reception was held for the New South Wales team at the Brisbane Town Hall with Lord Mayor, Alderman William Jolly, stating that this historic match also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Queensland Cricket Association (formed in 1876).

New South Wales Sheffield Shield Cricket team, November, 1926. Back row : G. Amos; L. Wall. Second row ; D. Seddon; A. E. Scanes, N. Phillips; A. Jackson; H.C. Steele; N. Campbell. Front row ; G. Morgan; A.F. Kippax, (Capt.); W.A. Pidgeon, (Manager); R.L. McNamee; R.H. Osborne. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 75953

New South Wales Sheffield Shield Cricket team, November, 1926. Back row : G. Amos; L. Wall. Second row ; D. Seddon; A. E. Scanes, N. Phillips; A. Jackson; H.C. Steele; N. Campbell. Front row ; G. Morgan; A.F. Kippax, (Capt.); W.A. Pidgeon, (Manager); R.L. McNamee; R.H. Osborne. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 75953

To commemorate this important match, the Queensland Cricket Association published a sovenir booklet, Official souvenir of Queensland's entry into the Sheffield Shield, a copy of which is held by the State Library of Queensland. The booklet contains numerous photographs, articles and statistics detailing the history of Queensland cricket, including a summary of the seventy-two 'casual' matches played by Queensland against visiting teams between 1893 and 1926 and names of the players in each match. According to the souvenir, of the sevnty-two matches, Queensland had only managed to win 10, with 12 drawn and 1 abandoned.

The souvenir booklet also highlighted the current form of Queensland player, Francis Cecil Thompson. During the 1925-26 season, Thompson, for the Queensland XI and South Brisbane Club respectively, had struck nine centuries in 18 innings, aquiring a total of 1525 runs at an average of 152.50.

Front cover - Official souvenir of Queensland's entry into the Sheffield Shield, Nov. 26 to 30, 1926. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Front cover - Official souvenir of Queensland's entry into the Sheffield Shield, Nov. 26 to 30, 1926. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Advertisement for the special souvenir booklet, published in The Daily Standard, November 16, 1926

Advertisement for the special souvenir booklet, published in The Daily Standard, November 16, 1926

During the first day's play of the Sheffied Shield match, New South Wales were dismissed by Queensland for 280 runs with NSW captain Alan Kippax holding the innings together, scoring 127 runs.

In Queensland's first innings, Francis Cecil Thompson continued his run of good form striking 134, backed up by Ron Oxenham with 57, taking Queensland's total to 356 and a lead of 75 runs.

In their second innings, New South Wales came out firing with centuries from Bob Steele (130) and Alan Kippax (131), scoring a total of 475 runs and setting the home team 400 runs for victory.

In their second innings Queensland came tantilisingly close to the target, falling short by 8 runs with Queensland captain and wicketkepper Leo O'Connor striking 196.

Newspaper report about Queensland's first Sheffield Shield match at the Brisbane, Queensland, 1 December 1926. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 74148

Newspaper report about Queensland's first Sheffield Shield match at the Brisbane, Queensland, 1 December 1926. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 74148

Queensland did not have long to wait to claim their first Sheffield Shield victory. In their second match, played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in early December, Queensland defeated New South Wales, winning by 5 wickets.

Going forward Queensland would go on to feature some of Australia's most outstanding cricketers, including Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Bill Brown, Wally Grout, Ken Mackay, Jeff Thomson, Don Tallon, Ian Healy, Peter Burge, Matthew Hayden, Geoff Dymock, Andrew Symonds, Craig McDermott, Eddie Gilbert and Andy Bichel. Unfortunately the covetted prize of the Sheffield Shield itself elluded them until 1995. Since then Queensland has won the competition a further six times.

Queensland XI visits 3LO Radio Station, Melbourne, Victoria, December 1927. (l to r) A. Hurwood; Lionel Oxenham; Billy Rowe; Cecil Thompson; Leo O'Connor; Roy Higgins; Les Gill; Eric Benstead; Frank Gough; Unknown (A friend of Lou Litster); Unknown; Gordon Amos; Lou Litster; Gentleman behind the microphone is Manager 3LO. (Description 3LO Melbourne-supplied with photograph). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 75951

Queensland XI visits 3LO Radio Station, Melbourne, Victoria, December 1927. (l to r) A. Hurwood; Lionel Oxenham; Billy Rowe; Cecil Thompson; Leo O'Connor; Roy Higgins; Les Gill; Eric Benstead; Frank Gough; Unknown (A friend of Lou Litster); Unknown; Gordon Amos; Lou Litster; Gentleman behind the microphone is Manager 3LO. (Description 3LO Melbourne-supplied with photograph). John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 75951

Eddie Gilbert bowling to Sir Donald Bradman during a New South Wales versus Queensland cricket match in Brisbane, 1931. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 33595

Eddie Gilbert bowling to Sir Donald Bradman during a New South Wales versus Queensland cricket match in Brisbane, 1931. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 33595

Queensland Cricket team for the Southern Tour, 1945/1946. Standing (l to r) : V.C. Schaefer (Manager); C. McCool; W. Morris; P.L. Dixon; A. Price; V.N. Raymer; H. Pegg. Seated (l to r) : A Carrigan; D. Watt; D. Tallon, (Vice Captain); W.A. Brown (Captain); G.G. Cook; G. Lockie. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 130138

Queensland Cricket team for the Southern Tour, 1945/1946. Standing (l to r) : V.C. Schaefer (Manager); C. McCool; W. Morris; P.L. Dixon; A. Price; V.N. Raymer; H. Pegg. Seated (l to r) : A Carrigan; D. Watt; D. Tallon, (Vice Captain); W.A. Brown (Captain); G.G. Cook; G. Lockie. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 130138

Queensland Sheffield Shield cricket team, January 1948. Back row (l to r) ; K Mackay; S.H. McGinn; N.V. Raymer; L. Johnson; K. Archer; N. Rogers. Front row (l to r) : D. Siggs; K. Dollery; W. Morris, (Captain); V.G. Honour, (Manager); G.G. Cook; S. Carrigan; A. Young. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 130133

Queensland Sheffield Shield cricket team, January 1948. Back row (l to r) ; K Mackay; S.H. McGinn; N.V. Raymer; L. Johnson; K. Archer; N. Rogers. Front row (l to r) : D. Siggs; K. Dollery; W. Morris, (Captain); V.G. Honour, (Manager); G.G. Cook; S. Carrigan; A. Young. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 130133

State Library of Queensland holds a wonderful collection of items documenting the history of Queensland cricket, including the Warwick Torrens Cricket Collection.

You can also check out our Flickr album, Cricket: Queensland at the crease.

Myles Sinnamon - Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

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