It’s the end of an era for Telegraph Fantasy Cricket!
The official line is that the demand just isn’t there, that interest in the county game has fallen so much that the competition isn’t sustainable/viable. I can’t help but think that the new structure of the domestic game, what with The Hundred and player availability (Or lack of) across four different competitions, will have made it quite complex for the Telegraph to create a fair competition.
It’s a shame because I really enjoyed it and you did need to use some nous but it’s over and out for TFF!
Meanwhile I’ve logged into CricketXI (www.cricketxi.com) but there’s currently no sign of any English cricket on there either. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s bitten the dust too or just not up and running yet. The county campaign commences on 19th April 2020 so there’s still time?!
I’d provide a review but the scores have already disappeared from the website. I appreciate that I’m a few days off the pace what with hospital stays and the like but…
I guess that they’ve had a clear down as it’s all IPL/County Cricket now. Needless to say, I was as appalling in the Sheffield Shield as I’m set to be in the IPL! For the English domestic scene, I’ve been focusing on my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket teams (Cash prizes) but will endeavour to be competitive on CricketXI as some of you have kindly joined my league and I don’t want to be shown up!
Don’t forget that I’ve created two other Leagues, 2019 CC Morris Invitational and 2019 ODC Morris Invitational for the County Championship and One-Day Cup in England. If you win then you might see your name in bright lights on this site. That’s the best prize I can offer, oh and maybe I’ll provide the link to your blog… a free hit if you will!
You can login via Facebook or Google and it’s free to play… which Telegraph Fantasy Cricket isn’t. There are two separate competitions for the County Championship and One-Day Cup. Along with having fifteen-man squads and a clear picture of who is playing when, CricketXI does seem easier and better to play than TFC, although there’s no financial prize on offer.
The image at the top of this post is my XI for the County Championship. Cue scepticism about Cook being on the bench but the batsman that I’ve selected are at least occasional bowlers which is why I’ve selected those personnel. Burnham a bowler?!
Below is my XI for the One-Day Cup. No Marsh doesn’t bowl but with the World Cup looming he’ll be determined to perform. Wessels may keep wicket, Jennings will bowl and Borthwick listed as a bowler!
I’ve created two leagues and you’re more than welcome to join them so please sign up. The names of the leagues as well as the codes if required are listed below…
2019 CC Morris Invitational
2019 ODC Morris Invitational
The Ashes, The World Cup, Cricket 19 on console, Cricket Captain 2019, Telegraph Fantasy Cricket and CricketXI not to mention if you still actually play the game unlike retirees like me, it’s an epic feast of cricket this summer!
Here’s my CricketXI fantasy team for Australia’s Sheffield Shield competition this winter (Or Summer if you’re actually in Australia!).
Typically I have Will Pucovski and Peter George in reserve and both performed well in the opening round of matches. George seems unfortunate not to have had more opportunities at both domestic and international level. For the record, 50% of his Test wickets are Sachin Tendulkar! I was surprised to see PG valued as high $56,400 and typically he rocked up on day one and claimed some wickets.
I’ve tried to avoid picking players that will be on international duty and plumped for Gurinder Sandhu off the back of a good One-Day Cup campaign ahead of George.
Will Bosisto is an odd one who I toyed with the idea of picking. He’s listed as a bowler but openened the batting in Western Australia’s first match. Sam Heazlett was in the runs though and my batting line-up seems strong on paper.
I’ll provide an update at the conclusion of the campaign to inform followers how I got on.
At the start of the year I stumbled upon CricketXI, an alternative fantasy cricket competition. This game focused purely on the County Championship (First Class) campaign.
I selected a team of young guns and as you can see things went really well! It was great to see the likes of Jonny Tattersall, Zak Crawley and Will Jacks develop. Harry Brook, Ben Twohig (Love his name!) and Matthew Carter also made great strides.
Unfortunately Surrey pacer Matt Dunn got injured early in the campaign and disappeared from the professional radar once again. Wicketkeeper Lewis McManus lost his place in the Hampshire First XI. Teammate Asher Hart and Essex spinner Aron Nijjar (Who fooled me by playing in a pre-season university match!) couldn’t get near their respective first XIs. Neither could spinner Sukhjit Singh who was sadly released by Warwickshire at the end of the campaign. Warwickshire clearly have little interest in developing their own young players and much prefer to sign absolutely anybody. While that’s great for players like Will Rhodes and Olly Stone, it’s not for players like Singh and Andy Umeed.
As well as my outfit of kids, I also selected a more ‘serious’ side but following early season injury, Sam Northeast failed to really get going having relocated from Kent to Hampshire and has fallen way down the England pecking order. Disappointingly, Sussex batsman Luke Wells and Nottinghamshire’s Riki Wessels failed to back-up productive 2017 campaigns.
On the plus side, James Hildreth was amongst the runs as ever, meanwhile Tom Bailey, Ben Sanderson and everybody’s favourite ex-England cricketer Jade Dernbach, contributed with the ball.
You appear to be able to play a traditional fantasy format as well as head to head leagues. They’re also set to have an IPL (T20) version of the game having already run an Australian Sheffield Shield (First Class) tournament.
For now at least, I’ve avoided selecting a proper team for the 2018 County Championship (First Class) and have selected the above side. My team’s moniker is The Kids Are Alright. I’ll probably compose another team along the lines of my Telegraph outfit in due course and on that note…