Cricket 19: Padding Up!

Big Ant’s latest cricketing effort titled Cricket 19 is due for release later this month, tuesday 28th to be exact. Button pushing fingers at the ready!

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/04/18/cricket-19-release-date-confirmed/

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/03/16/cricket-19-what-will-you-do/

Now if I was a single, unemployed, rich man, I’d be looking forward to dedicating a lot of my days (And nights!) to hunkering down, stockpiling on snacks, never leaving the house and dedicating as much time as possible to the game before I got an immense headache. Sound familiar!

Unfortunately, no not unfortunately but realistically I have a wife and two children, work 32-40 hours per week and am not rich. I can’t dedicate every second of every day to Cricket 19. That’s a problem because there’s a heck of a lot to do in the game. What I do have is one morning per week whilst eldest daughter is at nursery and possibly friday and saturday nights to chase cricketing glory. So what am I going to do?

Obviously I’d like to pursue a career. First up as on previous Big Ant cricket games, I’d like to do an as true to life career as possible. By that I mean as a virtual me, the player has my name, looks like me, has my real life batting and bowling handedness/arm and style and commences his career somewhere local whilst trying to gain a contract at Yorkshire and ultimately play for England. That in itself is a big dedication to go all the way to regular international player over a ten or fifteen year period. I do think that in Career Mode I will be a batting orientated player. It’s just too much to be bowling as well and I find it harder to get in the groove and maintain form when batting. I haven’t played Ashes for sometime so will do some net practice before commencing my career. If the difficulty levels are similar to previous games (Rookie, Amateur, Pro, Veteran, Legend) then I’ll probably look to play on veteran level. Pro can be just a little too easy but Legend too hard. The new Perks system implemented on Career Mode looks extremely promising. I’d love to do some careers as my daughters, one of them I’ve got down as a spin bowler or my fast bowler nephew but I don’t want to end up with a few unfinished careers.

The other thing that I’d like to do is create Test and ODI leagues as I’ve done previously. I’m really not fussed about T20I. I prefer to be able to bat for long periods and make big scores as well as enjoying bowling long spells and having to work hard for wickets. That’s been the real beauty of previous Big Ant games, the realness of having to dig deep to earn your rewards. Though I won’t bowl in Career I enjoy doing so in Tests in particular. As with Career I don’t want to end up with unfinished leagues so I’ll keep them small, maybe just five or six teams, home and away followed by a final. I like to select some lesser nations so Canada and Nepal etc, bring it on! I should probably mention that I’ll be playing as England and will likely call up players such as Rob Keogh, Harry Brook and Will Jacks amongst others to compliment to England regulars. That’s another huge asset of Big Ant’s games, The customisation and fantasy elements, you make the England (Or whichever) team as you like personnel wise, as well as kit and stadium wise.

I can’t say that scenario mode holds great appeal to me. I’d rather just play Test and ODIs and therefore arrive upon my own scenarios in those matches.

The online feedback from the demo has been extremely positive particularly around the visual aspect as well as the added depth to Career Mode. There’ll always be a bit of hesitancy from me as Big Ant have had their problems when it’s come to polishing previous titles. “Brilliant but broken games” is the phrase that I’ve used. Fingers crossed that this time they’ve had pest control in early and rid themselves of any bugs!

I’ll be sure to post match reviews and Career updates complete with images as with previous games here on my site so keep your eyes peeled.

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/03/30/ashes-cricket-ps4-career-mode-2024-season/

https://sillypointcricket.com/2017/12/24/ashes-cricket-ps4-global-test-league-like-a-rash/

https://sillypointcricket.com/2017/11/18/ashes-cricket-ps4-slogmaster-from-zero-to-ninety-in-a-matter-of-seconds/

https://sillypointcricket.com/2017/10/28/don-bradman-cricket-17-best-of/

Please let me know what you intend to do on Cricket 19.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC – Post ODC Update

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 10.55.00

Hi followers

The graphic above displays my standings now that the group stage of the One-Day Cup has reached its conclusion. International call-ups, injuries and squad rotation have all played their part in scuppering my best laid plans. I’ve been reasonably aggressive with captaincy changes and have tinkered with transfers to get as many players on terra firma as possible. I’ve kept half my captaincy changes for the rest of the County Championship and for the most part have two thirds plus of my transfer allocation left. Now it’s about making sure that my XIs consist of long-term certain starters and saving transfers for the occasional uncontrollable. I do have to bear in mind players such as Marnus Labuschagne who won’t be around for the duration of the summer. Some players have arrived especially for the second phase of the County Championship (Bavuma/Rahane) or have returned from the IPL (Curran.S/Livingstone).

img_2832

Livingstone is a batsman who bowls and a good catcher. Curran is listed as a bowler not an all-rounder and with him not being in England’s World Cup squad, both are worth consideration.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.16.02.png

Leading points scorers

Across my teams my star performers have been Hampshire’s Liam Dawson (1027 pts), Sussex’s David Wiese (805) and Kent’s Matt Milnes (748).

IMG_3821

Dawson is now the third most selected player and Milnes is now in 17% of people’s teams but I’ve had him in from the beginning when he was in few people’s XIs so I was gaining points that few TFC participants were. The aforementioned Labuschagne (Listed as a batsman) hasn’t always fired with the bat but has regularly chipped in with the white orb. That’s the advantage of selecting a batsman who bowls because even if they fail with the bat (Remember a duck scores -20) they can still break even or contribute positively with the ball.  Yorkshire’s Jonny Tattersall, listed as a batsman but crucially keeping wicket regularly so claiming catches (10pts) and stumpings (15pts) has totalled 538 points. Some people have cottoned on but he’s still in only 5% of teams. Obviously some of my points scored have been doubled when said individual has been made captain, for example: Dawson has always captained for me when playing so has contributed 2054 points for me.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.16.43.png

Most selected players

At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve always advised picking players that have been selected by few participants of the game.

IMG_2919

Having returned from injury, I slotted Essex’s Matt Coles in to one of my teams. He’s been picked by only 0.3% of TFC participants but has gained 280 points for me (Some doubled) from only a few appearances. Dean Elgar (A useful bowling option come CC long summer days) and Mohammad Abbas are a couple of 1%ers that I’ve snuck in recently. Following his temporary relocation up north, Dom Bess is another player that I might transfer in before next week.

My minimum target is for one of my teams to finish in the top 1000 but disappointingly I’ve just slipped out of the top 1k! Hopefully I can get back up there and will keep you posted later this summer!

Magic Numbers!

Some selected numbers from today’s One-Day Cup matches:

Warwickshire 270 / Yorkshire 270… a tie!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44973

Lancashire 417 / Nottinghamshire 406… a heck of an effort in an almighty chase!

There are some pretty mind blowing stats (Moores and Fletcher with the bat/Chappell with the ball) from within the stat below…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8335/scorecard/1167059/nottinghamshire-vs-lancashire-north-group-one-day-cup-2019

Somerset 358 / Kent 94… a 264-run margin of victory!

Craig Overton: 66 not out from 36 / 5-18… nice!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8335/scorecard/1167060/somerset-vs-kent-south-group-one-day-cup-2019

Another ton (111 & 127) for Varun Chopra and 6-62 from Nathan Sowter…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44985

Cameron Bancroft following 151 not out with 118 not out

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44975

No wonder I couldn’t find him among the averages!

Playing Seconds

Two players released by Yorkshire last year are still trying to carve out professional careers and have been gracing the Second XI circuit this season.

Left-arm quick bowler James Wainman can be found at Worcestershire meanwhile spinner Azeem Rafiq, rather cruelly let go following trying personal times, can be found at Warwickshire.

Competition for places at Yorkshire this season is incredibly hot so it’s understandable that some players had to be let go. Wainman and Rafiq are extremely good cricketers however and it wouldn’t be a surprise if we were to see them grace the field for a county side’s first XI in the future.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC – Early Season Update

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 19.35.12

After two rounds of the County Championship and before we hit the One-Day Cup trail, I thought that I’d provide an update of how I’m getting along.

The main graphic at the top of this post details my current positions in the table and I’m optimistic that I can build on a respectable if not sensational start. Having said that, my top ranked team is placed in an encouraging 524th position.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 20.05.04

Based on where one of my team’s were sitting at one stage, there are at least 7,500 entrants in the game. For the record, the 100th placed team has 2,410 points. 1st place has 3,096 though I’m only around 500 points off being placed in the top ten! As you can see, there’s only about 400 points separating my top two teams but nearly 3,000 positions between them.

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Remember that some teams didn’t play in the first round of matches so have only played once not twice. This was critical to my team selection thus far. I’ve managed to ensure that I’ve had at least ten if not all eleven players playing and have only made one (Out of 30) of my transfers in any of my teams. That could change though as I potentially tinker a little for the One-Day Cup. The fact that the cup is played in a block means that I accept making a couple of transfers to commit to the One-Day competition.

Will players like Harry Brook, Jack Burnham and Matt Milnes play the white-ball games?

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 20.10.28

Milnes has been one of my good left-field picks. I selected him off the back of claiming some wickets in a university warm-up match. He’s only ever played First Class cricket but I fancy that we’ll see a white-ball debut soon.

Wicketkeeper Ricardo Vasconcelos (Selected by 5.5%) who produced a knock of 184 against Glamorgan, Durham’s Gareth Harte (2%) and a sneakily snuck in Marnus Labuschagne (1.5%) who scored a ton and claimed three wickets on debut, are other slightly under the radar players that have contributed well for me. Harte and Labuschagne are both listed as batsmen but have contributed with the ball. That was no fluke but a significant part of why I selected them. It’s my team that has a batting line-up of specialist batsman that has particularly struggled but I’ll maintain the faith for the start of the One-Day Cup at least.

Getting your captain (They score double points) correct is vital.

I’ll stick with Liam Dawson and David Wiese who’ve made vital contributions for me as well as Steven Mullaney who should be effective in fifty-over cricket.

I’ll almost certainly change Toby Roland-Jones though as I think I need captains who are more certain of getting a bat in the One-Day Cup. Based on his performances in the County Championship thus far, Roland-Jones is clearly still re-discovering his groove. He may well stay in one of my team’s but not as captain.

Roland-Jones’ Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan has made vital contributions with both bat and ball for me, as he bids for an England recall and another shot at Ashes glory.

Keaton Jennings is captain of my wife’s team that she selected though I’m providing transfer consultancy during the course of the campaign. Typically at this stage she’s ahead of three of my teams! I anticipate that KJ will bowl a bit in the one-dayers so could rack up some points. I really do think that your captain must be some form of all-rounder. If you’re skipper is purely a batsman and they score 0 (-20=-40) and 4 ala Ben Duckett this week then you’re relying on catches to get said player back in the black. As for Gareth Ice Berg who made a pair against Yorkshire… I’m glad that I didn’t provide him with the captain’s armband!

Should I bring players like Alex Hales, Luke Wright or Ross Taylor, signed by Middlesex exclusively for the One-Day Cup, into my team?

The New Zealander is a specialist batsman so won’t take any bonus wickets. He’s normally a good catcher though, so I’ll see how many people pick him. I don’t want to select him if everybody else does. I want to get points that other participants in the game aren’t getting. Hales, Wright and Taylor are currently selected by next to nobody but that could change over the course of the next couple of days as participants tinker for the One-Day Cup. Of course transferring these players in will cost two out of thirty season transfers because they’ll need transferring out again.

What about this guy?

Come tuesday night, I’ll be scouring the club website’s (All of them!) for squad news.

I’ll provide a further update of my progress after the group stages of the One-Day Cup are complete.

Salt in Pepper’s Wound!

Poor Michael Pepper!

The young Essex stumper will have known that he would be behind Adam Wheater when it came to first XI opportunities this season. Having his appendix removed would’ve meant missing some second XI games but he could live with that. Unfortunately for Pepper, Wheater injured himself on day one of the county campaign and so Pepper could’ve clocked up two months’ worth of first team outings. Instead, Middlesex loanee Robbie White gets some game time and the opportunity to enhance his rather appalling batting statistics.

Salt in the wound as they say!

Clarke’s Case

I’ve previously written about Joe Clarke and how I didn’t want him in the England team anytime soon…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/01/11/first-class-cricketers-but-without-the-class/

This followed unsavoury revelations about his personal life in light of the Alex Hepburn rape trial. Fair play to Clarke though. What he needed to do was let his cricket do the talking and make his case for selection extremely difficult to ignore.

Clarke has not committed a crime or been accused of one. I previously said that given time and maturity then I’d have no qualms about him representing England.

He has commenced the 2019 campaign with scores of 112 and is currently 97 not out on his competitive debut for new employers Nottinghamshire…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8052/game/1166914/nottinghamshire-vs-yorkshire-specsavers-county-championship-division-one-2019

Should he carry on like this then an Ashes call, though he’d probably have to move up to three, could be almost certain.

As touched upon in my article posted earlier today…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/04/07/northeast-finds-direction/

English batsmen up and down the land are putting their hands up and demanding international recognition. It’s a welcome change to recent seasons.