The NSW Blues won their 47th Marsh Sheffield Shield this season, and on Friday, were finally able to celebrate the achievement four months after claiming the title.
After nine rounds of the Shield competition, the Shield was cut short in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Round 10 and the Final were cancelled by Cricket Australia based on medical advice.
The Blues were awarded the Shield after finishing top of the table.
Most of the 21 players who represented the Blues in Sheffield Shield cricket last season, were part of an historic socially-distanced photo shoot with the Shield at the hallowed SCG.
The Blues finished more than 12 points clear on top of the table with six wins from nine matches, leading the competition from the start of the season.
It was the Blues’ first Shield title since 2013/14.
In his two seasons as coach of the Blues, Phil Jaques took them to the final last season, losing to Victoria, before claiming the title this season.
It was also Peter Nevill’s first title as captain.
Steve Waugh Medallist Daniel Hughes was the Blues’ leading run-scorer with 665 runs averaging 44.33, including his highest First Class score of 136 against South Australia at Bankstown Oval in February.
It was one of two centuries for the left-handed opener in that match, becoming the first player to score a century in each innings of a First Class fixture for NSW since Jaques in 2010/11.
During round three, Dan Solway became the first Blues player to score a century on First Class debut since Kurtis Patterson in 2011, making an unbeaten 133 against South Australia in Adelaide.
Solway finished his debut season with 498 runs at the impressive average of 55.33. Moises Henriques was the other player to score more than 500 runs along with Hughes, making 512 at 51.20 including two centuries.
The Blues bowling attack was the cornerstone for much of their success in 2019/20. Pace bowlers Harry Conway and Trent Copeland were the equal leading wicket-takers for NSW with 25 wickets each.
Against South Australia at Bankstown, Copeland claimed his 300th First Class and Sheffield Shield wicket for NSW, while spinner Stephen O’Keefe claimed his 300th First Class wicket during the season.
Peter Nevill reflects on Sheffield Shield title