Cricket 19: Career Mode – Lick a Stamp Please!

Great news!

Our man Buster van Dunk will make his First Class debut for Centurion this week at the age of just 19.

Wickets haven’t been easy to come by for the young off-spinner but his economy rate has caught the eye of many domestic sides who desire some control in their bowling ranks.

The left-handed lower order bat also has five fifties to his name and averages just shy of forty with willow in hand at club level.

On top of his batting and bowling exploits, South Africa’s great spin hope has demonstrated his nous when captaining club side Emalahleni to great effect during the current campaign.

Centurion have signed van Dunk for the pro 50-over competition too.

We’ll bring you further updates as van Dunk announces himself on the professional scene.

Buster van Dunk

Slam dunk da funk

He’s funkE with a capital E!

Buster van Dunk

Slam dunk da funk

He’ll take a shedload of wickets, you just wait and see!

Will the famous Emalahleni crowd chant make it to the stands of Centurion?

Wade Riding the Crest of a Wave!

Matthew Wade’s Test record is ordinary. If you don’t believe me…

http://m.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/230193.html

He has however been tearing it up on the Australian domestic circuit in recent seasons and does appear to have genuinely improved as a player. The wicketkeeper by trade is focusing on his batting in order to get back in the national side and wielding the willow as high up the order as possible.

On the Australia A-team’s tour of England he’s made back to back hundreds (117 & 155) in the two List A games played so far…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44649

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44650

Admittedly the bowling attacks of Northamptonshire and Derbyshire aren’t comparable to England’s. It’s still not going to be easy for the thirty-one-year-old to force his way into Ashes reckoning but if he carries on like this then you just never know.

Dawson and Vince Hard Done by ECB not ICC!

Following on from my latest audiocast where I touched upon the subject of Liam Dawson and James Vince being unable to represent Hampshire in the One-Day Cup final, I feel that it’s necessary to look into things a bit further.

It’s a huge shame that these two players, both of whom are likely to more often than not be sub-fielding and carrying drinks for England (But you never know what can happen?!) can’t play in the domestic season’s marquee showpiece. It is of course only appropriate in the interest of fairness that they can’t. It would be unfair for them to be getting match practice, keeping their eye in, staying in form and gaining confidence when the players of the other World Cup participants can’t do so. You do have to question the ECB’s structuring of the English county season though as it is they who should’ve seen this coming and prevented it from happening. The One-Day Cup was played in an exclusive block up to a couple of weeks ago so why on Earth did we then return to First Class cricket for a couple of weeks before the One-Day final randomly slots in to the fixture list?

It’s a shame for the players in question and a kick in the teeth for devoted fans of a county game that in most people’s eyes is seriously struggling as a spectator sport. Remember that Vince is Hampshire’s captain and Dawson has been their star player this year.

Regarding Dawson, there are rumours that he’s been courted by Warwickshire but also that he may have hinted to Hampshire that he only wants a white-ball contract in the future. I’m disappointed to hear that but realistically he’s probably struggling to play Test cricket again. He’s been mightily effective in the PSL for a couple of years and if he can get IPL and CPL gigs as well as playing One-Day and Twenty20 cricket in England then there’s just about enough cricket to occupy him in the summer. This is before we consider the PSL, BPL and Big Bash etc in the winter time, not to mention the Hong Kong Blitz, Global T20 Canada and whatever pops up next! The riches of these gigs are far greater than the county game and a lot less gruelling so the appeal is understandable but it’s also confirmation that the standard of the four-day game in England in particular will continue to decline. If the best players desert it when still in their twenties, we could be left with only young players pre peak and old players post peak to fill the teams.

As for Vince, his appearances in an England shirt this summer have been exactly what everyone expected of him. Pretty but unsubstantial. Not out of his depth but not excelling. How will bench warming for England help him press his case for a top three Test vacancy come the Ashes?

Hopefully Dawson and Vince will get some game time at the World Cup. I’m a big fan of involving the whole squad when it comes to major tournaments but whether or not the structure of the 2019 competition and England’s results will allow it only time will tell.

No Moores Ducks!

Never has a scorecard summed up my fantasy cricket efforts better than what you’ll find in the link below…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO45059

List A debutante Lyndon James (Transferred in today especially!) Jake Libby (A duck in the last match!) Steven Mullaney and Tom Moores (Made Captain for today so double minus!) all ducked!

All these players are in one of my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket teams.

Carter and Ball did at least contribute whilst Coughlin and Wood are actually players that I’ve removed from my teams. On the plus side I transferred Pat Brown in and he soon claimed a wicket whilst Wayne Parnell claimed a five-wicket haul. He gains bonus points for a four-wicket haul and sub 4 rpo economy rate.

When you’ve got a handful of teams and therefore have players across all the counties, there are so many ups and downs during match day. Sometimes you’re celebrating a wicket only to see that it’s one of your batsmen that have been dismissed… or are you celebrating a good knock (Ideally a score above forty scored at more than a run-a-ball containing lots of sixes. BONUS POINTS!) then one of your bowlers claiming a wicket?

What might seem like inconsequential catches can be celebrated with a fist pump for the points they bring.

Look out for my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket update at the conclusion of the One-Day Cup group stage late next week.

England’s Alternative ODI Squad!

As we approach the business end of the One-Day Cup and England commence their international summer, here’s an alternative England ODI squad based on domestic white-ball performances so far this summer:

Playing XI:

Varun Chopra, Essex (263r @ 87.67)

Billy Godleman, Derbyshire (479r @ 95.80)

Sam Hain, Warwickshire (301r @ 60.20)

Steven Croft, Lancashire (375r @ 125.00)

Jonny Tattersall, Yorkshire – Wicketkeeper (205r @ 51.25 / 10c/2s)

Liam Dawson, Hampshire – Captain (232r @ 46.40 / 13w @ 18.00)

Craig Overton, Somerset (146r @ 146 / 11w @ 12.09)

Nathan Sowter, Middlesex (15w @ 18.13)

Matt Coles, Essex (7w @ 17.14)

Luke Fletcher, Nottinghamshire (14w @ 17.93)

Saqib Mahmood, Lancashire (20w @ 15.85)

Squad Members:

Tom Westley, Essex (295r @ 49.17)

Tom Moores, Nottinghamshire – Wicketkeeper (196r @ 49.00 / 6c/2s)

Alex Thomson, Warwickshire (215r @ 53.75)

Stuart Meaker, Surrey (5w @ 24.20)

What are your thoughts?

Are there any players that I’ve omitted that you think merit recognition?

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!

How to Select a Telegraph Fantasy Cricket Team

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Hi all

Please have a listen to my latest audiocast on how to select your Telegraph Fantasy Cricket Team…

Good luck in 2019 folks!

Disclaimer: I forget to mention, I’m not a fan of gambling in sport but believe that a bit of fantasy cricket, football or whatever can be healthy when played in moderation!