Victorian Premier Cricket

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Victorian Premier Cricket
Victorian Premier Cricket Logo.jpg
Administrator Cricket Victoria
Format2-day matches (with 1-day matches)
First edition1906–07
Tournament formathome and away
Number of teams18
Current champion Melbourne (2019/20)
Most successful21 Melbourne
Most runs Flag of Australia (converted).svg Warren Ayres (15,277) [1]
Most wickets Flag of Australia (converted).svg Bert Ironmonger (862) [2]

Victorian Premier Cricket is a club cricket competition in the state of Victoria administered by Cricket Victoria. Each club fields four teams (firsts through to fourths) of adult players and usually play on weekends and public holidays. Matches are played on turf wickets under limited-time rules, with most results being decided on a first-innings basis. Outstanding players in the competition are selected to play for the Victorian Bushrangers at first-class and List A level, in the Sheffield Shield and Marsh One Day Cup competitions respectively. The competition commenced in the 1906–07 season when it was known as "District cricket", and was renamed in 1990. Separate competitions for one-day matches (2002–03) and Twenty20 (2005–06) were later established.



Inter-club cricket in Melbourne had its beginnings during the 1850s, with matches arranged on an informal basis. The newspapers usually decided the season's best team via the consensus of journalists. In 1870, the Challenge Cup was introduced, beginning an era of more structured competition.

For the 1889–90 season, a program of Pennant Matches was devised over eight rounds, which began the era of club competition recognisable today. The original competing teams were Carlton, East Melbourne, Essendon, Fitzroy, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne, University and Williamstown. There were no restriction on the recruitment of players and the stronger clubs (such as East Melbourne, Melbourne and South Melbourne) attracted the leading players, and other teams remained very weak. By the turn of the twentieth century, the unevenness of the competition resulted in a lack of public support.

The solution was found in "electorate" or "District" cricket whereby players needed a residential qualification to play for their club. In 1903, a VCA sub-committee recommended the implementation of the system. Due to many differences of opinion (most notably, the powerful Melbourne Cricket Club dissented), District cricket did not commence until 1906.

The twelve inaugural District teams were Carlton, Collingwood (newly formed), East Melbourne, Essendon, Fitzroy, Hawksburn (which became Prahran the following year), Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne and University. A promotion and relegation system between two grades was originally envisioned, and the premier club of second grade, Northcote, was promoted for 1907–08. However, last-placed Collingwood was not relegated and the idea dispensed with. The second grade was re-constituted as the Victorian Sub-District competition, comprising Brighton, Caulfield, Coburg, Elsternwick, Hawthorn, Malvern, Port Melbourne and Williamstown.

The uneven number of teams necessitated a bye, which remained 1929–30 when the VCA Colts team was included. The Colts team competed for eleven seasons but disbanded during World War II. Matches continued through the war (although they were not for points) and Footscray was admitted for 1948–49 to eliminate the bye. The next expansion occurred in 1974 when two clubs representing outer-suburban areas, Ringwood and Waverley, were promoted from Sub-District. Eighteen sides have participated since 1993–94 when teams from Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula were admitted. The finals system, previously consisting of four teams, was enlarged to a final six in 1997–98 season, later changing to a final eight.

Current clubs

ColoursClubEmblemFormedHome ground1st XI
Black, White, Green and Gold Camberwell Magpies Magpies1906Camberwell Sports Ground, Camberwell 41906–07Inaugural club (Collingwood); amalgamated with Camberwell (Sub-District) in 1996–97
Navy Blue Carlton Blues1864 Princes Park, North Carlton 91906–07Inaugural club
Red and White Casey-South Melbourne Swans1862 Casey Fields, Cranbourne East 31906–07Inaugural club (South Melbourne), relocated and renamed in 2005–06
Navy, Red and White Dandenong Panthers1908 Shepley Oval, Dandenong 31974–75Promoted from Sub-District in 1974–75 as Waverley; amalgamated with and moved to Dandenong (Sub-District) in 1989–90 as Waverley-Dandenong; renamed Dandenong-Waverley in 1992–93; renamed Dandenong in 1994–95
Black and Red Essendon Bombers1872 Windy Hill, Essendon 21906–07Inaugural club
Maroon and Gold Fitzroy Doncaster LionsSchramm's Reserve, Doncaster101906–07Inaugural club (Fitzroy); amalgamated with Doncaster (Sub-District) in 1986–87
Navy, Red and White Footscray BulldogsMerv Hughes Oval, Footscray 21948–49Promoted from Sub-District in 1948; known as Footscray-Victoria University from 2000-01 until 2003-04, then as Footscray-Edgewater from 2004–05 until 2016–17
Royal Blue, Red and Gold Frankston Peninsula HeatAH Butler Oval, Frankston 01993–94Promoted from Sub-District in 1993–94
Navy and White Geelong Cats Kardinia Park, Geelong 01993–94Promoted from Sub-District in 1993–94
Royal Blue and Black Greenvale KangaroosGreenvale Recreation Reserve, Greenvale 01906–07Inaugural club (North Melbourne); temporarily amalgamated with Geelong (sub-district) as North Melbourne–Geelong from 1985 to 1986 until 1987–88; amalgamated with and moved to Greenvale in 2013–14 [3]
Navy, Gold and Red Kingston Hawthorn Hawks1860Walter Galt Reserve, Parkdale 91906–07Inaugural club (East Melbourne); amalgamated with and moved to Hawthorn (Sub-District) in 1921–22 as Hawthorn-East Melbourne; moved to Waverley in 1989-90 and renamed Hawthorn-Waverley in 1994-95; amalgamated with Monash University (Sub-District) in 2001–02 as Hawthorn-Monash University and moved to the Monash University Sports Complex in Clayton in 2004; amalgamated with Kingston Saints (Sub-District) in 2015–16 and moved to Parkdale as Kingston Hawthorn.
Red, Navy and White Melbourne Demons1838 Albert Cricket Ground, Melbourne211906–07Inaugural club, but ineligible for the premiership until 1914–15
Green and Gold Northcote DragonsBill Lawry Oval, Northcote 51907–08Promoted from Sub-District 1907–08
Navy Blue Prahran True Blues Toorak Park, Armadale 81906–07Inaugural club (Hawksburn); renamed Prahran in 1907–08.
Yellow and Black Richmond Tigers1854 Central Reserve, Glen Waverley 61906–07Inaugural club (Richmond); relocated to Glen Waverley in 2010–11, and changed its trading name to Monash Tigers from 2013–14 until 2019-20 (although the club was legally still known as Richmond).
Navy and Gold Ringwood RamsJubilee Park, Ringwood 31974–75Promoted from Sub-District 1974
Yellow, Black and Red St Kilda Saints1855 Junction Oval, St Kilda 181906–07Inaugural club
Black and Royal Blue University Students1856 University of Melbourne campus, Parkville 31906–07Inaugural club

Premierships correct to the end of 2019/20 season.

First XI premierships


Ryder Medal

First presented in 1972–73, the award for the best player of the season is named after Jack Ryder, the former Australian captain who had a long and distinguished career with Collingwood.

SeasonPlayerTeamBiography link
1972–73Ron BirdCollingwood
1973–74 John Grant Essendon
1974–75John GrantEssendon
1975–76 Keith Stackpole Carlton
1976–77 John Shepherd Footscray
1977–78Keith StackpoleCarlton
1978–79Keith StackpoleCarlton
1979–80Barry WatsonFootscray
1980–81 Gary Cosier Northcote
1981–82 Mick Taylor South Melbourne
1982–83 John Douglas Carlton
1983–84 Trevor Laughlin Collingwood
1984–85Andrew WildsmithNorthcote
1985–86Michael EphraimsPrahran
1986–87 Warren Whiteside St Kilda
1987–88 Wayne N. Phillips South Melbourne
1988–89Richard McCarthyNorth Melbourne
1989–90Warren WhitesideSt Kilda
1990–91Warren WhitesideSt Kilda
1991–92 Mark Ridgway Fitzroy/Doncaster
1992–93Mark LeehaneEssendon
1993–94 Gary Watts Fitzroy/Doncaster
1994–95 Warren Ayres Melbourne
1995–96Brendan JoyceFitzroy/Doncaster
1996–97 Ian Wrigglesworth Carlton
1997–98PQ HarperUniversity
1998–99 Abdul Qadir Carlton
1999–2000 Carl Hooper Carlton
Paul Collingwood
DM Dempsey
2001–02Warren AyresMelbourne
2002–03CBD StreetFitzroy/Doncaster
RA Bartlett
Adam Dale
North Melbourne
2004–05Simon DartHawthorn/Monash Uni.
MD Allen
Graeme Rummans
St Kilda
2006–07Graeme RummansSt Kilda
2007–08Steven SpoljaricHawthorn/Monash Uni.
2008–09 Gareth Cross St Kilda
2009–10Graeme RummansSt Kilda
2010–11 Theo Doropoulos Northcote
2011–12 Clive Rose Casey-South Melbourne
2012–13Brenton McDonaldMelbourne
2013–14James MillerPrahran
2014–15Ian HollandRingwood
2015–16Steve TaylorNorthcote
2016–17 Brendan Drew Camberwell
2017–18 Trent Lawford Fitzroy Doncaster
2018–19 Brett Forsyth Dandenong
David King
James Seymour
2020-21 Scott Edwards [5] Richmond

John Scholes Medal

Presented in season 2001–02 under the name of Cricket Victoria Medal, the John Scholes medal is awarded to the best player in the Victorian Premier Cricket 1st XI final. The name was changed for the 2003–04 season. [6]

2001–02JL TravagliaFitz Donc
2002–03 GC Rummans St Kilda
2003–04 GC Rummans St Kilda
2004–05TDB O'SullivanSt Kilda
2005–06 M Klinger St Kilda
2006–07PM BorastonDandenong
2007–08MR KingRingwood
2008–09ST GilmourRingwood
2009–10RJ CooperMelbourne
2010–11 JL Pattinson Dandenong
2011–12 WD Sheridan Richmond
2012–13 Matthew Begbie Melbourne CC
2013–14S DissanayakaFootscray-Edgewater
2014–15Ian HollandRingwood
2015–16Peter DicksonFitzroy Doncaster
2016–17Matthew BrownMelbourne
2017–18 Peter Siddle [7] Dandenong
2018–19Evan GulbisCarlton
2019–20Final not contested
2020-21Damon EganPrahran


In the post-war period, the competition has faced the challenge of periodic restructuring to reflect the growing metropolitan area of Melbourne. This has been achieved by amalgamating and relocating clubs. In 1985 Fitzroy moved its base to Doncaster, forming Fitzroy/Doncaster. Similarly, in 1989, Hawthorn/East Melbourne relocated to Glen Waverley in the eastern suburbs, and was later renamed Hawthorn/Waverley in 1994. The club merged with Sub-District club Monash University, to become Hawthorn/Monash University seven years later. The move of Hawthorn/East Melbourne caused Waverley to move to Dandenong, and the new team played as Waverley/Dandenong, but dropped Waverley from its name for the 1994–95 season.

Two more inner-suburban clubs have reorganised. Prior to the 1996–97 season, Collingwood left Victoria Park and amalgamated with Sub-District club Camberwell to become Camberwell Magpies based at the Camberwell Sports Ground, while prior to the 2000–01 season, Footscray became Footscray/Victoria University. The latter club is now known as Footscray Edgewater due to a unique business partnership with the residential development adjoining its home ground, the Merv Hughes Oval.


Victorian Premier Cricket is run by the Cricket Victoria's Pennant Committee, which deals with grounds, fixtures, playing dates, venues, umpires, ladders, player eligibility and registrations, disputes, rules changes etc. The Pennant Committee comprises five delegates elected at the AGM of Cricket Victoria held every August. Currently, the members are Russell Thomas (Chairman), Kevan Carroll, John Malligan, John McConville and Ken Stone. Matters concerning player behaviour are dealt with a tribunal convened by Cricket Victoria and is made up of an independent chairman two Pennant Committee members, providing that their club is not involved in the match in question.

See also

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