Before we look ahead to this summer's JLT One-Day Cup, cricket.com.au reflects on the rich history of Australia's domestic 50-over competition and undertakes the tough task of selecting the tournament's best XI.
The competition has undergone significant change from when it first started in 1969-70 as a seven-team knock-out competition featuring all six states and New Zealand, who beat Victoria to take out the title.
When it came to formulating the selection criteria for this team, it was pretty simple: the more runs and wickets the better. So those who played in the golden era of the tournament – the 1990s and early 2000s – feature prominently when there were more games and national players were regularly in the mix.
The XI begins with two Queenslanders opening the batting; Matthew Hayden and Jimmy Maher. Hayden posted eight centuries in his 61 matches at an average of 50.51, while Maher sits third on the list of the highest tournament's run-scorers with 4589 at 44.99. Maher is also one of only four players to score 10 or more hundreds, and in 12 innings, Maher never scored a duck. Individually the pair warrant selection, but as a duo they are stone cold locks. The Hayden-Maher opening partnership is the most prolific in history, amassing 2439 runs at 59.49 with nine century stands and a best of 250. Special mention to the Usman Khawaja-Chris Hartley partnership, who averaged 94.50 together in 16 games facing the new ball, with a massive best stand 280.
At No.3 is Michael Klinger, the competition's second highest run-scorer with 5124 runs at 43.79 in 129 matches for three teams – Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The right-hander posted 12 centuries – the second most in history – and went past 50 on 42 occasions, again the second most.
If Klinger is the silver medallist than the gold belongs to Brad Hodge, this team's second-drop. Hodge has the most runs (5597), centuries (20) and scores beyond 50 (45). Hodge also never got out in the 90s, a feat that should not be overlooked. He's in the top five twice for most runs in a season, falling just short of NSW's Phil Jaques and his mammoth 683-run season in 2005-06 with 622 runs in 2009-10. If Hodge isn't the tournament's best batsman, then No.5 would likely have to be.
Darren Lehmann scored 4155 runs at 51.30 with seven hundreds, remarkable numbers that only get better when 'Boof' was playing as captain. When in charge, Lehmann's average skyrockets to 66.31, and no player scored more than his 2586 runs with the (c) next to his name. For those reasons, Lehmann is the skipper of this side.
Coming in at No.6 is Victoria's Cameron White. One of two active players on this list, White sneaks in ahead of run machine Matthew Elliott due to his cagey leg-spinners and cerebral tactical nous. White is a two-time player of the tournament, has tallied 3311 runs and posted six centuries. Nobody has scored more runs (1534) and hundreds (five) than White in the past five years and at 35 looks like he has a few years left in him. Michael Bevan, who averaged 61.19 in 78 innings, could have easily slotted into the this spot, but we've gone for White for his power hitting late in the innings.
The gloveman in this team is Brad Haddin, who holds the record for most dismissals with 164. Haddin also boasts the most runs (3010) and centuries (six) as a gloveman and scored a rapid strike rate of 94.
The bowlers begin with the tournament's most prolific wicket-taker, James Hopes, who took 155 wickets in 114 matches for Queensland. He only captured one five-wicket haul – 5-29 against South Australia in 2001 – but he snared nine four-wicket hauls, the second most ever. Reliable, consistent, always at the batsman and vastly experienced, hopes is the perfect foil for the frightening new-ball tearaways.
Opening the bowling, it's the raw speed and firepower of Mitchell Starc and Shaun Tait. Starting with Starc, no bowler who has captured at least 50 wickets has a strike rate lower than the left-armer, who takes a wicket every 18.83. Using that same qualification, Starc also owns the lowest average of 14.57. In 2015-16, he captured 26 wickets at 8.12 in just six games to set a new record for most wickets in a single tournament, bettering the mark set by Victoria's Shane Harwood, who took 24 wickets in 10 games in 2008-09. From the other end is Tait, who blasted out 103 wickets in 53 matches for South Australia. 'The Wild Thing' is perhaps the fastest bowler to play in the competition and against Tasmania in January 2004, he produced figures of 8-43 from 9.3 overs – the best in the tournament's history.
Last but not least is the sole specialist spinner in the side, NSW leggie Stuart MacGill. MacGill is second only to Hopes in wickets taken, poaching 124 in 62 outings for the Blues. His average of 22.36 is exemplary and his four five-wicket bags are the tied most, his 11 hauls of four wickets or more are unmatched.
The greatest domestic one-day XI
Matthew Hayden (Queensland)
Jimmy Maher (Queensland)
Michael Klinger (Victoria, SA, WA)
Brad Hodge (Victoria)
Darren Lehmann (c) (South Australia)
Cameron White (Victoria)
Brad Haddin (NSW)
James Hopes (Queensland)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)
Shaun Tait (South Australia)
Stuart MacGill (NSW)