As part of their Easter fair, Bendigo (then Sandhurst) becomes the venue for the first recorded match by Women players in Victoria in April 1874. Due to its success, a second match is played the following year.
A legend of Victoria’s bowling fraternity, Hugh Trumble plays his first match for Victoria. Unconventionally tall for an off-spinner, Trumble’s rangy frame allowed him to produce deliveries of awkward trajectory and bounce. His 17-year, 213 match career ended with an incredible total of 929 first-class wickets at an average of 18.46, with 141 of these coming at 21.78 at Test level. His dexterity with the bat produced 5395 first-class runs at 18.46, affording him the title of an all-rounder. Trumble captained his state on 32 occasions and his country twice. His feats secured him a place in the Victorian Team of the Century.
Aged 23, Jack Ryder debuts for Victoria. 80 matches for Victoria defined the free-flowing batsman’s career; at its conclusion, Ryder had scored 5674 runs at an average of 45.75 taken 150 wickets at 29.69. 20 Test matches complemented Ryder’s state achievements, in which he scored 1394 runs at 51.63. Victorian Premier Cricket’s highest individual honour would later be named after Ryder.
Bill Woodfull debuts for Victoria. In a first-class career that spanned 174 matches between 1921 and 1934, Woodfull scored 13388 runs at an average of 64.99, including a staggering 49 centuries. His success earned him national honours; his Test debut coming in 1926 against England. Woodfull’s Test career concluded in 1934, after 35 Tests in which he scored 2300 runs at 46.00. A rugged batsman whose runs came from well-placed dabbling rather than free-flowing stroke play, Woodfull formed a legendary opening partnership with Bill Ponsford.
Bill Ponsford plays the first of 162 first-class matches for Victoria. Come the end of his first-class career, Ponsford had amassed 13819 runs at an average of 65.18, including 47 centuries. His feats extended to the national stage, where he played 29 Tests, compiling 2122 runs at 48.22. Characterised by an almost invulnerable defence and well-considered, efficient strokeplay, many a bowler considered dismissing Ponsford a more difficult feat than doing so the more illustrious Bradman.
Victoria betters its own record innings total, achieving a score of 1107 against NSW at the MCG. This score remains the highest in first-class competition.
In making 437 in an innings against Queensland in 1927, Bill Ponsford eclipses his own individual first-class record. This feat came amidst an unimaginable month of cricket during which Ponsford scored 1146 first-class runs. Ponsford’s achievement of 1000 runs in a month remains unique.
Lindsay Hassett plays the first match of a first-class career that bore 16,890 runs at an average of 58.24. Hassett captained his state on 120 occasions and 24 of the 43 times he played for his country, an international career that produced 3073 runs at an average of 46.56. An archetypal batting technique made the task appear effortless to Hassett. Reverence of his achievements is maintained through the naming of an MCG function room and Cricket Victoria’s premier functions.
Aged just 18, Keith Miller debuts for Victoria. The mercurial all-rounder possessed the equal ability to turn a match with bat or ball. Service as a fighter pilot in World War II temporarily intervened in Miller’s 22 year first-class career but, despite this interruption, he amassed 14183 runs at 48.90 and took 497 wickets at 22.30. 1396 of these runs – at 53.69 – were made playing in his 18 matches for Victoria, before his relocation to NSW. His success transferred to the national arena where he compiled 2958 runs at 36.97 and took 170 wickets at 22.97, becoming a part of Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’.
Teenagers Una Paisley (15) and Betty Wilson (16) debut for Victoria against South Australia at Unley Oval, SA. Both all-rounders bowling off-spin, they had contrasting styles as bats, Una compiled her runs with deft placement and a predilection for the cut shot, while Betty liked to dominate attacks with punishing drives and pulls endeavouring to score off every ball. They would both go on to represent Australia, although both their State and National representation would be curtailed by World War II. The Women’s First Grade First highest individual honour for the season’s most valuable player was first presented as the Una Paisley medal in 1978/79. The Betty Wilson Medal is awarded to the Player of the Final in the CV Premier Firsts competition.
Sam Loxton, later to become a member of Bradman’s Invincibles, scores 232 on debut for Victoria against Queensland. His first-class career of 192 matches – including 12 Tests – yielded 6249 runs at an average of 36.97 and 232 wickets at 25.73.
Neil Harvey, later to become a member of Victoria’s Team of the Century, makes his first-class debut. A year later, Harvey’s evident talents made him a part of the national team and, aged 19 and 121 days he became the youngest Australian to score a Test century. His fluid and fearless batting style made his innings relentlessly enjoyable to watch. Harvey’s 79 Tests yielded 6149 runs at an average of 48.41 and involved 21 centuries. His 17-year first-class career produced a largesse of 21,699 runs at an average of 50.93. Despite renowned leadership qualities, employed as state captain 26 times, Harvey captained Australia but once, against England in 1961.
Len Maddocks – later to become the wicketkeeper in the Victorian Team of the Century – makes his debut. Maddocks combined an elegantly resolute batting style with tidy skills behind the stumps. His dependable style produced 4106 runs in 112 first-class matches – 28 as captain – and his glovework was recognised with selection in 7 Tests. Maddocks maintained involvement with cricket post-retirement, acting as VCA treasurer, state and national team selector, and national team manager.
Captained by Una Paisley, Victoria travels to Sydney and wins the National Championship after a hiatus of six years due to World War II. Due to transport difficulties, only NSW and Victoria take part. The win continues the unbroken winning streak of the Victorian side which began in the 1938/39 season and will continue until 1949/50.
An explosive left-arm quick bowler and right-handed bat, Anne debuts for Victoria in January 1962 and would go on to take 166 wickets and score 923 runs for her state. Selected for Australia in the home series against England in 1967/68, Anne pencilled her name into the history books becoming only the second Australian player to take ten wickets in a Test match following fellow Victorian Betty Wilson. Her 5/61 & 5/57 was taken at the same venue as Betty, the Junction Oval in Melbourne. She became the eighth Australian captain in 1976 for tours to West Indies and England. After retiring from playing she became a selector for the Victoria Women’s Cricket Association, Surrey and then England Selector and Chairwoman of England Selectors from 1992 to 1996. She was awarded life membership of Cricket Victoria in 2018.
Victoria claims it’s first limited overs title. The 50-over competition, then known as the Coca Cola Knockout, was in just its third year when Victoria defeated South Australia in the final.
A quick bowler reputed to be the fastest in the world during her playing career, Sharon Tredrea’s cricket career was meteoric. She played U18 State cricket at 15 and was in the senior team by 18. By the end of her State career, she had scored over 1500 runs and taken over 120 wickets. At just 21 she debuted for her country and would go on to be the tenth Australian captain. After a full series against New Zealand, she looked forward to the pinnacle of her career, captaining her country in a home series against the old foe, England. A torn Achilles in the first Test saw her out for the rest of the five-match series which Australia went on to win. In 1992/93 the Victorian One Day player of the Year award is named in her honour.
Expansive, energetic and extroverted in batting style, Dean Jones provided infinite entertainment for Australian cricket crowds through the 1980s and ’90s. His style was explicitly suited to the burgeoning one-day format of the era but more reserved application produced accompanying success in longer forms of the game. 201 first-class matches spawned 15811 runs at an average of 52.70. 52 of these were Tests, which produced 3631 runs at 46.55. His eminence in limited-overs cricket saw him compile 6068 runs at 44.61 on the international stage and 1651 runs at 44.62 for his state.
The inimitable Merv Hughes plays his first Sheffield Shield match for Victoria. Raw and irrepressible, he became the darling of crowds, his on-field actions copied by crowds across Australia, his iconic moustache earning fame of its own. He took 593 wickets at an average of 29.08 in a 14-year first-class career that ended in 1995, as well as 212 wickets at 28.38 at Test level.
Betty Wilson becomes the first Australian woman cricketer inducted into the Australian Sporting Hall of fame
Blonde-tipped and rambunctious, Shane Warne makes his debut for Victoria, bowling the embryonic deliveries of an incomparable first-class career. 301 first-class matches ensued, bringing with them 1319 wickets at an average of 26.11, including the once world record 708 Test match wickets. Warne’s brilliant first-class career was coupled with 194 international limited-overs matches and 293 wickets at 25.73.
Original Victorian team of the century named (selected by Jim Higgs, Tim Lane, Lindsay Kline and Greg Baum): Bill Woodfull, Bill Ponsford, Lindsay Hassett, Neil Harvey, Jack Ryder, Keith Miller, Len Maddocks, Shane Warne, Merv Hughes, Hugh Trumble, Bill Johnston, 12th Man: Dean Jones.
With the two week, two-day matches format coming to an end in the 1995/96 season to be replaced by the Women’s National Cricket League Victoria wins their 36th title.
Aged 20, Cameron White is appointed as the youngest captain in Victoria’s history.
Victoria becomes the first state to play 1000 first-class matches when it plays South Australia at the Adelaide Oval on February 1.
Victorian men’s coach David Hookes tragically passes away after being struck outside a pub where he had been drinking with Victorian players following their victory in a match earlier in the day. Hookes was a leading figure in Australian domestic cricket for many years representing South Australia. Hookes had become the Victorian coach in 2002.
After losing the first of a three-match finals series against NSW, Victoria won the two remaining matches to take our their second WNCL title. The series saw strong performances from Sarah Elliott (nèe Edwards), Belinda Clark and Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
Led by a Brad Hodge century, Victoria claims the inaugural KFC BigBash Twenty20 tournament by comprehensively defeating New South Wales by 93 runs.
Sixteen-year-old Meg Lanning debuts for Victoria. By eighteen she will be debuting for Australia and scoring her first ODI century, the youngest player, male or female, to do so. In 2014, at the age of 21, Lanning became the youngest captain of Australia when she replaced an injured Jodie Fields in that year’s Ashes series.
After 17 seasons as a Victorian player, Melanie Jones retires as the highest run-scorer for Victoria with 3542 runs (Ave: 28.34). At the time of her retirement, she is the last player to have competed in the National Championships playing two-day games in a two-week tournament structure as well as the WNCL where she is the leading games record holder for Victoria with 122 games. After retirement, she becomes a commentator on both men’s and women’s cricket on Radio and TV and is elected to the Cricket Australia Board in 2019.
Brad Hodge finished his domestic first-class career as Victoria’s all-time leading run-scorer. Hodge was later acknowledged in 2022 for his significant contribution to state cricket with the introduction of the Hodge-Matthews Trophy, a perpetual trophy that Victoria and New South Wales play for when they meet in the Sheffield Shield.
Victoria again proves itself the leading Twenty20 side by claiming its fourth KFC BigBash title with a 48-run victory against South Australia.
Victoria affirms its contemporary eminence by claiming its 28th Sheffield Shield.
An emphatic 52-run win over the NSW in the final at Adelaide Oval saw Victoria crowned inaugural National T20 champions.
The match went down to the final ball after 18-year-old Meg Lanning led the way with 74 from 56 balls. Victoria defeated NSW by 4 runs.
Outgoing coach Greg Shipperd and captain Matthew Wade secured Victoria’s 29th Sheffield Shield against Western Australia, after finishing on the bottom of the table in the previous season.
Victorian Betty Wilson is the first Victorian woman, and only fifth woman overall, to be inducted into the ICC Hall of fame. The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket’s long and illustrious history.
Victoria goes back-to-back and secures its 30th Sheffield Shield, defeating first-placed South Australia in an outright win at Glenelg. David Saker pockets the Shield in his first season as coach.
Meg Lanning set a new WNCL record with the highest individual score. Lanning finished with 190 runs from 153 balls against Tasmania.
Victoria achieves a Sheffield Shield three-peat for the first time in its history after drawing with South Australia in Alice Springs. Andrew McDonald becomes the first Victorian to play in and coach a Sheffield Shield title.
The second Victorian woman to be inducted into the ICC Hall of fame Fitzpatrick was also inducted into the Cricket Australia Hall of fame in the same year. A fast bowler, Fitzpatrick terrorised international opponents in her 16-year international career often bowling at 125km/h. She ended her career with 180 ODI wickets and 60 wickets in Test matches. For Victoria, she took over 190 wickets including a hat trick. After retiring from playing, she coached the Victorian side and later the Australian side.
Marcus Harris (141) and Peter Siddle (5/28) lead Victoria to victory in the Sheffield Shield Final at Junction Oval. Travis Dean captained the side with Peter Handscomb away with international duties. Marcus Harris was named Player of the Match.
Regarded as one of the best female players in history, Ellyse Perry joined Victoria ahead of the 2019-20 season after 11 seasons with NSW.
Captain Peter Handscomb was named Player of the Match in the Final hosted at Junction Oval that saw Victoria defeat Tasmania by 110 runs.
White made his Victorian First-Class debut in March 2001 as an 18-year-old and went on to become Victoria’s longest-serving and most successful captain. He made 135 First-Class appearances and 120 List A appearances wearing navy blue.
Dean Jones was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame after revolutionising the ODI format. Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was recognised as among the best ODI batsmen in the world. Jones represented Victoria between 1981-1998.
Sharon Tredrea is the fifth woman overall and the third Victorian woman to be honoured.
Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski achieved the highest ever partnership in Sheffield Shield history putting on 486 for the first wicket. Pucovski finished 255* and Harris was dismissed for 239.
The cricket world mourned the passing of Dean Jones AM at the age of 59. Jones was inducted in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his services to cricket.
Former Australian and Victorian fast-bowler and one of the most recognisable characters in world cricket, Merv Hughes, was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
Legendary Australian and Victorian leg-spinner Shane Warne passed away aged 52. Warne made his First-Class debut for Victoria at Junction Oval in February 1991 and is Australia’s all-time leading wicket-taker. The Great Southern Stand at the MCG was renamed in his honour.
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