Former New South Wales opener Greg Mail has been honoured with a Life Membership of the Sydney Cricket Association.

The tall right hander played 72 first class matches for New South Wales scoring nine hundreds and 19 half centuries.

Mail was even more prolific at Grade level notching up a record 44 hundreds,  eight more than the next best, Victor Trumper, Warren Bardsley and Bob Simpson.

In 366 First-Grade matches he has scored a record 15,242 runs at an average of 46.32, making him the leading run maker in the competition’s history.

Mail also claimed 245 wickets at 21.37 and took 284 catches.

Speaking after receiving his award, Mail paid tribute to the Grade Cricket system and its community, which was at the heart of his cricketing career.

“What I am most thankful for is the community that I have been lucky to be a part of for over 20 years,” Mail said.

“I feel like I’ve got friends across clubs, administrators and umpires. I feel comfortable that I can knock on the change room door of every club in Sydney, and feel welcome.

“I’m a genuine believer in this competition and the part that it plays developing cricketers for New South Wales and we know how important that is for our national side.

“Sydney Grade Cricket has given me much more than I’ve given it, and I feel very lucky.”

Teammate and fellow Blue, Ed Cowan, paid tribute to his Mail’s determination and good nature while acknowledging him as ‘Sydney Grade Cricket’s finest Cricketer.’

“Greg has been a mentor, friend, a coach and a team mate to me for 15 seasons and an immeasurable influence on my career,” Cowan explained.

“He was the moral, social and cultural fabric of the team and perhaps why I feel so strongly towards him as a person because he is essentially what every team member wishes to be – reliable, honourable, very competitive and entirely egoless.

“He enjoyed nothing more than winning but always with grace and humility.”