Simon Moore was a teenager when he first saw the Australian Country Championships at his then home ground of Cardiff.
Over two decades and up to 15 national carnivals later, the 42-year-old New Lambton resident says he feels humbled to become just the fourth player inducted into the hall of fame.
“It’s a massive honour,” Moore told the Newcastle Herald.
“I’ve always had a team-first mentality but as an individual award it’s pretty special to be recognised like this.
“To be next to such a calibre of players is humbling.”
The long-time Merewether captain follows last season’s inaugural player inductees, featuring fellow Newcastle representative Mark Curry as well as Queensland pair Brian May and Michael Warden.
After debuting for NSW Country in 1998-99, right-handed batsman Moore played in a record 70 matches and remains the Bush Blues’ leading scorer with 2747 runs.
He won four titles and earned multiple Australian Country XI caps.
“Winning them was always good, but every trip was pretty special,” he said. “A chance to represent your state and I’ve made some lifelong friends along the way.”
Moore will have partner Renee, their three children Clancy, Matilda and Molly as well as Sydney-based parents Geoff and Kerry in attendance at the annual end-of-tournament ceremony on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Bush Blues and Bush Breakers finished their 2018-19 campaigns in disappointing fashion with both recording losses in Shepparton on Thursday.
In the men’s competition NSW Country (9-232) completed a winless one-day section after falling six runs short in a run chase against overall champions Western Australia (7-238) at Katandra Reserve.
In the women’s competition NSW County (6-106) went down narrowly in the T20 semi-final for the third straight season, missing out to Victoria (6-108) by two runs at Frank Howley Oval.