NSW Breakers' international stars have vowed to send veteran Alex Blackwell out a winner in her last Women's National Cricket League final against Western Australia.
Blackwell, Australia's most-capped female player, announced she would retire from international and state cricket earlier this week after a remarkable 16-year career.
The 34-year-old will gun for a 14th WNCL title with NSW on their home turf at Blacktown, as the Breakers contest their 22nd consecutive final - a record in Australian sport.
In that time the NSW captain has amassed 4764 WNCL runs at 47.17, but her efforts to help bring the revered NSW talent line through and continue the state's success have been just as valuable.
"She is someone who has been part of the fabric of Australian women's cricket," NSW and Australian star Ellyse Perry told AAP.
"When they decide to call it a day they deserve all the recognition and accolades that are afforded to them.
"I know the other 10 players on the field want to make sure we do the right thing by Alex."
Perry has become one of Australian sport's biggest names, but is still thankful for the way Blackwell and twin sister Kate took her under their wings as a teenager.
She has fond memories of fishing, bodyboarding and flipping coconuts with the pair on her maiden Australian tour as a 16-year-old.
"I'm truly grateful for that," Perry said.
"They made me feel a part of the team not only as a valued player but as a valued person.
"That's Al's very special quality, she makes you feel valuable on and off the field ... I've never come across someone who does that as well as Alex."
Such stories are repeated throughout the NSW team, which will this weekend include nine past or present Australian representatives.
Australian T20 allrounder Naomi Stalenberg still vividly remembers rushing to the SCG from an underage carnival to watch the Blackwells bat NSW to victory over Victoria in the 2008-09 final.
It stuck with and inspired Stalenberg, who later had her NSW cap presented to her by Alex in 2013.
"I was just hanging off every word," Stalenberg said.
"She said NSW had such a great legacy and I was now a part of that. It made it really special."
Stalenberg, 23, is desperate to continue that legacy Blackwell helped build for the rest of her career as the next generation continues to emerge.
"If I can become half the person she is and half the cricketer she is ..." Stalenberg said.
"She has created that legacy throughout my career and I definitely want to follow on."
Australian Associated Press