The Australian Sheffield Shield is first Class Cricket competition of Australia, and takes place every year with every Australian state participating in the tournament. The tournament started in 1892 with only three teams and is one of the best domestic cricket tournaments of the World.
Also see - Sheffield Shield schedule
The Sheffield Shield 2021-22 will be the domestic tournament's 120th season, starting on September 24, 2021, and ending on March 30, 2022. All of the matches will be aired live and exclusively on Cricket Australia's Official Website, with the state team of Queensland as the defending champion.
Cricket Australia initially confirmed all of the tournament's schedules on July 21, 2021. Cricket Australia confirmed on September 8, 2021, that the prior schedule had been cancelled owing to continuous lockdowns and border restrictions in Sydney and Melbourne. The first two matches' schedules have been finalised, with the entire amended schedule to be announced later.
In the year 1891, the Earl of Sheffield Henry Holroyd came to Australia as a promoter of the English Cricket team, which was led by William Gilbert Grace. Prior to his departure, he presented £150 the New South Wales Cricket Association to fund an Inter-colonial Cricket Tournament, to be held annually in Australia. The winner of the Tournament was presented with a Shield, known as the Sheffield Shield after its benefactor. The Shield was designed by Philip Blashki and has the dimensions of 109 cm x 76 cm, and is a non rotating trophy.
The tournament is played in a Double Round Robin format, where each team plays the other team twice - one at home ground and the other at the opponent’s ground. Therefore, the tournament progresses in 10 rounds, with all the teams playing their matches at the same time. At the end of the tenth round, the top two teams play the final at a neutral venue. All the matches are scheduled for 4 days, except the final which is played for 5 days.
In 1892, the competition featured only three teams: New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Queensland joined the tournament in 1926, and Western Australia joined in 1947, bringing the total number of teams to five. The competition presently features six teams, according to the admission of Tasmania in 1977. Except for Victoria, each squad is called for the state it represents. The NSW Blues, Queensland, West End Redbacks, Tasmanian Tigers, and Western Warriors are the other teams.
All the participating teams have lifted the Sheffield Shield at least once, and the 2020-2021 season was won by Queensland. New South Wales has won the most titles (47 times) and are followed by Victoria (32 titles). Darren Lehmann is the most successful batsman in the tournament (12971 runs) and Clarie Grimet is the most successful bowler (513 wickets).