How the Bulls Were Named
The genesis of the Queensland Bulls can be traced back to the appointment in 1993 of Andrew Blucher as the inaugural Marketing Manager of Queensland Cricket.
But the Bulls could easily have been called the Vikings, or one of another of a host of potential names, that were initially tossed around when the decision was made to revamp the identity of the Queensland cricket team.
Blucher identified that cricket was being left behind in the rush and decided the creation of a separate brand for the premier State cricket team was a priority for the sport.
The Board of Queensland Cricket made the decision to run with the Bulls name following a surge in the take-up of sporting team names in Brisbane, with rugby league's Brisbane Broncos, basketball's Brisbane Bullets, Australian Football's Brisbane Bears (later to become the Lions), all capturing the following of the sporting public.
Such a concept appealed to the major sponsor of Queensland Cricket, Castlemaine Perkins, and the XXXX Queensland Bulls (later XXXX Gold) were created in time for the 1993-94 season amid a wave of publicity.
The Bulls were the inaugural first-class cricket team in Australia to be identified by a name other than their State home in what was a revolutionary change for a competition which had been formed 101 years earlier after Lord Sheffield of Sussex, aiming to restore the game's popularity in Australia, had donated 150 pounds to the controllers of Australian cricket for a perpetual trophy, the Sheffield Shield.
The three cricket playing colonies, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, spent a year debating the benefits of the kind donation, decided to form the first Sheffield Shield competition in 1892/93.
The first game was played in December 1892 with South Australia defeating New South Wales by 57 runs. Victoria managed to rally later in the season to become the inaugural Shield winners.
Queensland was accepted into the competition in 1926, starting with a first up loss to New South Wales by only eight runs. They gained their revenge in the return match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) winning by five wickets.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
The trend-setting Bulls were quickly followed by the other States - NSW Blues, Western Warriors, Southern Redbacks, Victorian Bushrangers and Tasmanian Tigers.
The creation of the Bulls identity was followed by another ground-breaking decision - the appointment of John Buchanan as State coach for the 1994-95 season.
Buchanan, who took over from fast bowling legend Jeff Thomson, inherited a team containing young home-grown prospects like Matthew Hayden, Michael Kasprowicz, Stuart Law, Jimmy Maher, Martin Love, Andy Bichel and Wade Seccombe as well as vastly experienced campaigners such as Allan Border, Carl Rackemann, Dick Tazelaar, Trevor Barsby and Ian Healy.
The Bulls earned the right to host their first Sheffield Shield Final at the Gabba and then promptly provided generations of Queenslanders with the victory that had been sought since Queensland was admitted into the Sheffield Shield in 1926-27.
The first Sheffield Shield title proved to be the springboard to a range of successes, including Mercantile Mutual Cup wins in 1995-96 and 1997-98 and another Shield title, this one away from home in Perth, in 1996-97.
The 1994-95 Final followed a script that only the most optimistic and fervent Queensland fan could have devised. On the first morning the Bulls attack set about reducing the South Australian batting line-up in much the same fashion as the demolition experts had turned most of the old Gabba into rubble in preparation for the start of the ground's complete redevelopment.The South Australians saw their chances crumble under an onslaught led by Carl Rackemann (3-54), Dick Tazelaar (2-45), Andy Bichel (2-54) and Paul Jackson (2-34) as they were dismissed for 214.
Centuries to Trevor Barsby (151) and Martin Love (146) and a thrilling 98 to Allan Border saw Queensland register their highest all-time score of 664. .
Batting again, the South Australians fought hard with Paul Nobes (100) and Darren Webber (91) helping the Redbacks to 349 in their second innings before Carl Rackemann took the catch of Paul Jackson to dismiss them 101 runs short of the target and present Queensland with its version of the Holy Grail.
Over the years various different marketing themes accompanied the Bulls in successfully selling the game and the Queensland team to the public, but that first unforgettable win which catapulted the team to hero status will never be forgotten.
And so, in the 2004-05 season, there was born an all-encompassing catch-line that will stand forever the homegrown heroes. And with it came a poem aptly penned by a passionate Queensland cricket fan, Rupert McCall, who stood on the Gabba hill for almost the entire five days of that unforgettable first win and typifies the spirit of the Bull.
Click here to read of how the homegrown heroes story unfolded, and listen to Rupert recite his now famous poem 'The Code of the Bull'.