Hello, Commissioner Burgess here! Back again for the 2018 season to guide you through Disley Fantasy Cricket and, again, more changes!

No more are we stuck to the 2 bowlers, 2 batters, an all rounder and keeper formula. Fancy 3 bowlers and 1 batter, keeper and all rounder? Then go ahead, as long as there is at least one player selected per category, the fantasy world is your oyster.

There has also been a slight change to the points structure too. Batting bonus points have been updated so there is now 30 bonus points for a 50 and 60 for a 100. Conceding 40 runs for 0 wickets will result in a costly -24 points.

Batsmen

This season sees the arrival of Luke Scully (£9m), the first ever Kiwi to grace the DASC as our overseas player. As with all our previous overseas, his primary role is as a batter, is the most expensive, will get a lot of catches and end up getting over 20 wickets with his part-time bowling (probably).

If you need to spare an extra £1m, both Clarke and Captain Reynolds (£8m) continue as reliable run scorers, hitting nearly 1,200 runs between them during the 2017 season. With both featuring prominently in catching positions, a fielding point boost is almost guaranteed for one of them.  

Stew Reynolds (£6.5m) still looks good value even with the £2m price increase, his newfound ability to catch and batting average of 33 last season contributing to a price hike. Prospective managerial suitors will be hoping the extra bonus points will be the extra motivation he needs to finally hit his first Rams century.

£3m seems to be the price of value this year as Abbas, Banner and Pollard are all in this range and can all score major points on their day, either through the odd 50, a not out or a catch or two. As ever though, keep an eye out for the rogues who can drop in for a game, you never know if Al Brownsword (£1m) is up for another entry on the honours board.

Bowlers

2017’s MVP was undoubtedly Josh Henry, but if it wasn’t for him it would be Mikey Gilmour (£8.5m). Gaining 1085 points over the season, his price has significantly increased to match Toby Carson who still managed to get the second highest points per game in 2017 despite an injury-interrupted season.

The ever reliable Blackbourn (£8m) took most wickets for the firsts and I (Adam (£8m)) just played a load of matches to get over 1000 points in the season again.

Joe Rooney (£4.5m) remains a value pick, who, on top of his bowling, hit two 50’s, and Matt Wragg (£5m) has the tendency to pick up a 5fer and hit a couple of sixes on his day. The obvious value choice is Sam Potter (£2.5m), whilst his return may not seem initially impressive his ability to chip in with wickets, catches, runs and getting not outs is the same as a elder sibling and it looks like he will build on that this season.

All-Rounders

Dave Potter and 3rd XI captain Madusha (both £8m) guaranteed at least 50 points per game they played and take the top spot for the all rounders. Part-time cricketer Simon Lomas (£7.5m) was pipped to the top spot in the pricing but if the call of the Hazel Grove watering holes isn’t too strong he boasted a bowling average of 5.67 and batting of 42.25 for the 6 games he played last term.

Bargains may be found in the shape of those likely to be present on a weekly basis so 2nd XI captain Alex Dyson (£4m) will be a reliable option alongside Manusha (£4m) who I’m reliably informed will get more of a chance to bowl this season to replicate his 2016 form, especially with Jamie Henderson (£5m) available for only 2 weeks of the season.

Reuben Cutts’ (£5m) season was cut short with an unfortunate knee injury, but was averaging 34 up till that point and could pick up key wickets when bowling once he returns from Australia.

Wicket-keepers

Alex Dickman (£5m) got 400+ runs for the second season running to nudge his price up again, helped by his improved glove work and even a cheeky 3-0 in the only two overs he bowled all season.

Will Ritchie (£4.5) had an incredible season behind the stumps with 28 dismissals, but a lean run with the willow in 2017 means a more affordable keeper for the team, he’s an obvious candidate for comeback player of the year in fantasy land.

Matty Cooper (£2m) and Ian Ashkettle (£1m) are the bargain keepers who, whilst they can’t play every game, could make the difference for a canny manager with his eye on the weekly fantasy emails from the Commissioner.

Get involved! Aim for glory!

Playing fantasy cricket in 2018 is as easy as ever. To sign up and support the club (as well as vying for bragging rights over friends, family, teammates, and mortal enemies) head to https://www.disleycc.co.uk/fantasy and pick your team.

Entry is £10, the winner will earn themselves a £100 jackpot with the rest going to support the ongoing endeavours of the Disley Rams!

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