Cricket Captain 2017

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If Don Bradman Cricket 17 is the cricket equivalent of FIFA then Cricket Captain is the cricket version of Football Manager.

The latest instalment of Cricket Captain is scheduled to release in less than a week, July 6th to be precise. Cricket Captain 17, with James Anderson replacing Chris Rogers as poster boy will be available on Steam, Mac, Android and iOS.

Cricket Captain is not for the casual gamer. If you’re a cricket geek who loves stats and basically wants to act a selector then this is the game for you. I imagine that if you spend a few hours a day commuting to and from work on a train then Cricket Captain would be the perfect time killer. You don’t control the players in the manner of a console game but you do choose what the players do, i.e: how aggressive they bat, what length they bowl etc.

Criticism of the game is often that each version is nothing more than a statistical update. To be fair, that doesn’t seem to be far from the truth but Cricket Captain usually comes in at less than £20.00. That may in part be because they no longer produce the game in disc form so can save on costs. The imagery on their Facebook page has the stadiums looking really, really cool and many global leagues have been added, therefore broadening the appeal and scope of the game.

Be warned, your family and other interests will probably be neglected if you purchase this game. It’s addictive and like Alastair Cook in the slips, I intend getting my hands on it… it’s probably the only way that Mark Footitt will ever get selected for England!

Living the Dream!

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Liam Livingstone hit the headlines in early 2015 when he struck 350 off 128 deliveries in a club match…

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/cricket/liam-livingstone-world-record-350-9078151

Then he hit the headlines again later that year when he got glassed in a fight…

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/cricket/lancashires-liam-livingstone-lucky-injuries-9875869

A few weeks later he didn’t hit the headlines when he was dismissed first ball in the T20 Blast final…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/natwest-t20-blast-2015/engine/current/match/804711.htmlhttp://www.espncricinfo.com/natwest-t20-blast-2015/engine/current/match/804711.html

He hadn’t exactly hit the ground running in the shortest format of the game and still averages below 20 but he didn’t half hit the ground running in the County Championship last year. Though his season tailed off slightly, he still finished with in excess of 800 runs at an average of just over 50. Having played a lot of club and second XI cricket and in an era where many players make their professional breakthrough whilst in their teens, I was hesitant to the idea of Livingstone being rushed into the England set-up too soon. The structure of the England Lions however provides great opportunity for he and others to acquire more experience and develop. Oh and how he’s developed! In England Lions current match against a decent Sri Lanka A outfit, LL has made scores of 105 and 140 not out…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO41600

His First Class batting average has now soared to 54.52 and recalling England’s batting horror show in India, it’s encouraging to see a batsman prospering in the sub-continent. England head to Oz next winter for the Ashes but even if Livingstone doesn’t make the breakthrough to the full national side soon, it could be that he’s saved for the next time England head to spinning terrain.

Last term, even if he wasn’t making runs, his name was all over the scorecards as he claimed catch after catch (31 in 17 FC outings to date) and his leg-spin bowling has some potential.

Elsewhere for England Lions, Toby Roland-Jones has led the line and contributed with the bat whilst the Curran brothers (Tom and Sam) have continued to enhance their reputation. It’s been a bleak winter for Jack Leach however. The Somerset man has struggled with the required adjustments to his action and was left out of the Lions side because of those struggles. Upon his return, his first innings figures of 18-1-97-1 don’t make for pleasant reading. The winter has not been so bleak for the consistently penetrative Ollie Rayner however. The German turner has surely usurped Leach in the England spin queue.

It’s been good to see that the Lions set-up hasn’t just been for the kids and that seasoned county players such as Roland-Jones and Middlesex colleague Rayner have been presented with the opportunity to press their case for international selection. If they did so, they wouldn’t be the first players to have successful international careers having only entered the stage around the age of thirty mark… Mike Hussey, Chris Rogers, Adam Voges and Misbah-ul-Haq amongst them.

Update: Jack Leach immediately responded to my bleak assessment of his winter by claiming figures of 2-3 as England Lions nearly pulled off a marvellous heist in Dambulla. Stumper Ben Foakes also claimed ten dismissals (8c / 2s) and contributed scores of 30 and 54 in this match.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/1080255.html

Ready and Abell / Gary’s Ballancing Act

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Somerset have appointed twenty-two-year-old Tom Abell as their captain for the 2017 County Championship campaign. Opening batsman Abell replaces Australian retiree Chris ‘Buck’ Rogers. The former Test opener bowed out of professional cricket with centuries in each innings of his final First Class match against Nottinghamshire last September. Jim Allenby remains at the helm for both limited overs sides.

The appointment comes hot on the heels of Yorkshire’s announcement that England discard Gary Ballance will captain the county in all forms of the game in 2017. In contrast to Somerset, Yorkshire and former Championship winning captain Andrew Gale was insistent that the Headingley side should have one captain across all formats.

Come next April Silly Point will share it’s Telegraph Fantasy Cricket team with followers and it’ll be interesting to see if either new county captain makes the cut?

In the build up to the 2017 campaign Silly Point will provide a Fantasy Cricket team selection consultancy service free of charge. Simply contact us (Me!) direct for incisive tips.

Who will be in your team?

Up Dawson’s Creek Without a Paddle!

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No I never used to watch Dawson’s Creek either, honest!

Forty-year-old’s trying to look eighteen (Comeback from the album Barely Famous Hits by The Warren Brothers). You’ve heard it, you know you have!

England are 2-0 down in India with two Tests to play and neither Zafar Ansari’s double first in politics and sociology or his piano playing ability have yielded much on the cricket pitch (Series Ave’s, Bat: 12.00, Bowl: 54.33). He was sick, he’s hurt his finger again or maybe his back now and he’s going home. Anyway, at least England can finally call up the man who was statistically the best English bowler in the County Championship last season, Somerset’s Jack Leach (65 Div. 1 wickets at 21.88).

Oh no, wait. Leach’s Somerset skipper Chris Rogers suggested that Leach wasn’t emotionally ready for Test cricket. So now we’re letting ex-Ozzie players select our squads!

The England management have called up Liam Dawson (20 Div. 1 wickets at 43.85) instead!

In all seriousness Dawson has put in some pretty decent batting efforts for Hampshire in recent times and has been playing (Albeit T20) in Bangladesh. If ‘Daws’ does debut in India, Silly Point wishes him the very best and the same goes for Zafar Ansari. He only need look as far as Adil Rashid (0-169 on Test Debut) to see an example of someone who didn’t quite set the world alight straight away but has since flourished. Ansari may yet come back stronger.

Good luck to Keaton Jennings too ahead of a likely Test debut in the fourth Test. You can’t argue with the volume of runs (1548) that he scored in County Championship Division One last term.