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Essays  |  Fantasy  |  Friendly Cup  |  Matches  |  Memorable  |  Tour  |  Tributes

 

 

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MAD Fantasy Cricket

 

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James Hoskins has been running the Far from the MCC’s Fantasy Cricket since it was realised back in 2006. Nobody is quite sure of the exact formula he uses to generate player values, but it is based over several previous seasons. That is unless the individual is new to the team, in which case JMO will invent a costing factoring in head size, drinking ability, self-importance and a modicum of mathematical interaction based on the person’s potential cricketing ability.

 

The competition is based on the principal of you having 100 points to spend on 6 (six) Far from the MCC cricketers. They can consist of any mixture of batsmen, bowlers, wicketkeepers or clowns. Points are awarded to each Fantasy Team based on certain criteria after a match is completed (see the point scoring system in James’ summary below).

 

 

 

 

James normally emails out the latest updates on a week to week basis, unless he’s got no coverage in whatever field he’s decided to set up his business and sell pizzas. The winning team (highest point scorer) at the end of the year will receive a percentage of the prize money based on the number of entrants who joined the competition. James assures everyone it is not rigged….

 

An extract from The MAD’s 20th year celebratory book ‘Never at This Level’, written by [Stan] James (geddit?) is detailed below….

 

 

 

 

 

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“A MAD Fantasy”

(contribution by James Hoskins – 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

I still remember the time clearly when MAD Fantasy Cricket was finally conceived – travelling down the M40 (or were we on the M25 by then?), four (or was it five?) MADsters on an out of season social in late 2005 (or was it early 2006?) – we were definitely in Moo’s car (I think) and very definitely on our way to see Stevie D (although I can’t remember why), so yes, crystal clear memories indeed.

 

I think we were talking about Fantasy Football and I think I was probably commenting on how shit it was that we all spent hours poring over Fantasy Football Costs to enter a team into a National Newspaper for a fiver only to find five weeks later that we were in 141,323rd position out of 143,158 entrants, with little or no idea of who we had picked in the first place and very little interest remaining in the whole thing.

 

How much more fun it would be if we could play Fantasy Cricket we all thought….and hang on, what if we did it with our OWN team? By the time we had rolled up in Stevenage the seed had been set, a basic format drawn out and MAD Fantasy Cricket was alive. With a genuine interest in the mathematical challenges (of creating a costing algorithm to ensure it would not be an easy task to select a team you really wanted without spending all available resources) I enthusiastically volunteered to run the competition for the following season... just to see how it went….

 

 

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Any mistakes are that of JMO’s MAC and not JMO.

 

 

It is indeed quite a challenge to ensure all of the players are priced in such a way so their cost reflects potential point scoring ability over the forthcoming season and no doubt readers are wondering the exact ins-and-outs of the algorithm that produces the costings. But I couldn’t possibly reveal that (since it is not an exact science). Suffice to say it is a subtle mix of previous form (over as long as the player has been playing), net rumours and head sizes. I’ve always thought that an indication of getting the pricing policy right is the variance in teams selected – and over the years there have only ever been a handful of duplicate teams. Although as Jake once pointed out to me, that might have something to do with the fact that there are 593,775 possible ways of selecting 6 players out of 30!

 

Now, due to a fatal backup failure at the end of the 2010 season (and it wasn’t a MAC in those days) original MAD Fantasy records have sadly been lost in the ether, but I seem to remember that we had about ten teams entering that first year for a meagre £25 first prize. Year on year the popularity and intrigue of the competition has seen the number of entries soar to over 50, with the most recent First prize award of £135! If current trends continue as shown by the graph below we should hit 100 entries by the year 2028!

 

 

Title: kjnk

 

 

Over the years the rules have been tinkered and tailored. Most rule changes have stayed, and I think the only rule change that was reversed was that of ‘substitutions’ – an idea to keep your interest as a Team Manager should one of your players become injured or have a baby mid-season. I have no idea why I thought that one would be possible to administer, and substitutions were quickly replaced by ‘Jokers’ as a way for lower rank teams to boost their way up the table. Jokers remain as a popular feature and now include not only Sunday game Joker play, but also T20 Jokers and the horrendously complicated (if your name is Darley) ‘Tour’ Jokers.

 

For history’s sake here are the rules:

 

Select SIX players for your MAD Fantasy Cricket Team that cost a total of no more than 100 points. Not forgetting to name your team something obscure (see Mark Rundle), insulting (see Mark Rundle), deeply offensive (see Mark Rundle), or bizarre (erm... see Mark Rundle).

 

 

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Rundle (left) amusing some equally crude idiot with some deeply offensive joke.

 

 

 

By way of explanation of the scoring system, points are awarded to players in your team thus:

 

Runs

1

Sunday Match 50s

25

Sunday Match 100s

50

T20 Match 30s

25

T20 Match 50s

50

Ducks

-10

Wickets

15

Sunday Match 4 fors

25

Sunday Match 5 fors

50

T20 Match 3 fors

25

T20 Match 4 fors

50

Sunday Match Economy < 3

25

T20 Match Economy < 4

25

Hat-tricks

50

Stumping

15

Zero Bye Bonus

10

Low Bye Bonus (up to 5)

5

Catch

10

Direct run out

10

Shared run out

5

Drops

-5

Buffet

-5

>25 Bat Avg (over Season)

50

<15 Bowl Avg (over Season)

50

 

 

 

A Joker can be played on your team for one Sunday game and one T20 during the season for which your Team’s points will be trebled and a Joker can be played on any touring player in your Team for which that Player’s points scored on tour will be trebled.

 

Rule changes as expected are directly proportional to the number of queries I get about the rules, but in the case of a certain Mr A. Darley, rule changes particularly surrounding Jokers are exponentially proportional to the number of queries I get as shown by the graph below:

 

 

 

 

Basic rules indeed, but it’s remarkable how much confusion this can cause in MAD ranks – such as the absolute total misunderstanding of the whole point of the game after a certain Mr D. Edwards entered a team costing 142 points which consisted of the six most expensive players. I seem to remember an email chain ensued….

 

Dan:  Well I want those six because they are the best.”

Me:  But you can’t afford them.”

Dan:  Who can I afford then?”

Me:  Six players that cost no more than 100.”

Dan:  So who can I swap out of my team?”

Me:  For example you can swap Howarth out for Dobner and it will save you ten points.”

Dan:  ”I’ll do that then.”

Me:  OK, so now your team costs 132 points.”

Dan:  So who else can I drop?”

Me:  You could have the bottom six players.”

Dan:  But half of them don’t even play.”

 

…and so, it went on….

 

 

 

Fantasy wasn’t one of Edwards’ strong points.

 

 

It has to be said I am not without fault during the scoring of the Fantasy Points following a match. No matter how carefully I pore over the scorecard I often seem to forget to account for a catch; or an Economy Bonus; or some clever algorithm I have put into my spreadsheet fails to account for a Duck; or a typo in a player’s name means they aren’t credited for their points… but it’s usually within about three minutes of sending out the summary mail that I will get a flurry of emails from the player I forgot the catch/bonus for; the Managers who have that player in their teams and most consistently of all – a certain Mr G. Timms who I am sure has a Fantasy Cricket Spreadsheet all of his own installed permanently in his Cerebrum which updates ball by ball as the Match unfolds. I am eternally grateful to all these corrections as it keeps us all honest and above all, means that people are actually paying attention – so that must be a good sign.

 

I am proud of the fact that Fantasy Cricket continues to entertain and has become an integral part of MAD ethos. Discussion ensues pre-match around whether or not to play Jokers and often in the field you can hear that extra groan from a Fantasy Manager when one of their Players drops a catch. Post-match comes the accusations of dropped Fantasy points or handshakes for good Fantasy performances.

 

So, since we are all gluttons for statistics – here are a few MAD Fantasy stats for our amusement below, and a detailed list of previous winners of the competition:

 

 

Highest Fantasy Points scored by a single player in a Match:  211 J. Newman-Robson (vs  OUP 2013)

 

Highest Total Team Fantasy Point Score in a Season:  5,128 C. D. Roberts  (Cheese and Pineapple)

 

Number of cells in the 2017 Fantasy spreadsheet:  123,475  (no wonder I make so many mistakes!)

 

 

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MAD Fantasy Cricket

(Club based Fantasy Cricket competition ran each season by James Hoskins)

- Adjudicated by Fantasy points calculations

 

 

Player

 

Year

C. T. J. Williams

2020

G. J. Timms

2019

J. W. Pearson

2018

L. G. Ainsworth

2017

J. W. Pearson

2016

C. D. Roberts

2015

D. Shorten

2014

R. P. Turner

2013

J. W. Pearson

2012

J. W. Pearson

2011

T. P. W. Smith

2010

J. D. Hoskins

2009

J. D. Hoskins

2008

M. K. Reeves

2007

G. S. Littlechild

2006

 

+  On-going large shield awarded + lion’s share of cash prize.

 

 

‘Stan’

 

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS!!!

 

 

 

 

After spending the close season of 2018 pondering over the intricacies, criticisms and suggestions of and for MAD Fantasy Cricket – James ushered in revamped rules and regulations for the following, in the hope of bending the minds of club members into hitherto complexities unknown. The details of his bulletin are given below…

 

…along with the 2020 Covid-19 amendments circa 2020!

 

 

 

 

 

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“Rule Changes Circa 2019+”

 

 

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Punters!

 

YES! It’s that time of year – the winter is almost over – time to dust off your laptops, fire up the spreadsheets and get those hats out for picking your teams! Fantasy prices are being published early this season so you can take advantage of net rumours and get your head around the… [insert drum roll here]… NEW RULES!!!

 

 

This season you are required to select:

 

THREE BATSMEN (using the Batsmen costings)

THREE BOWLERS (using the Bowler costings)

& ONE WICKET KEEPER (using the Keeper costings)

 

For a total of no more than 130 Points!

 

Batsmen will receive BATTING and FIELDING points

Bowlers will receive BOWLING and FIELDING points

Keepers will receive BATTING, KEEPING and FIELDING points

 

You cannot select the same player more than once.

 

 

Apart from that, all rules remain the same. Note these prices are nothing to do with ability or non-ability – they are based on average scores over the last three years, indexed to 130 points and furtled about with ever so slightly to make things interesting!

 

The latest costs for the coming season will be published soon….

 

 

‘Stan’

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Adapted Rule Changes to the Above

Circa 2021 Coronavirus Pandemic+”

 

 

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Punters!

 

Right, it’s the time of the year to get your calculators, spreadsheets, faulty MACs, hats and tins out.

 

But first – exciting news of a NEW RULE which hopefully is designed to keep more teams in it for longer should anyone catch Covid during 2021.

 

This season you are required to select:

 

THREE BATSMEN (using the Batsmen costings)

THREE BOWLERS (using the Bowler costings)

ONE WICKET KEEPER (using the Keeper costings)

AND ONE 12th MAN whose points will count IF… YOU HAVE THREE OR LESS PLAYERS PLAYING in a game!

 

For a total of no more than 130 Points!

 

Batsmen will receive BATTING and FIELDING points

Bowlers will receive BOWLING and FIELDING points

Keepers will receive BATTING, KEEPING and FIELDING points

12th Men will receive BATTING, KEEPING and FIELDING points IF they play as 12th MAN 

 

You cannot select the same player more than once.

 

JOKERS are back after being ruled out in a pandemic ruined 2020 (a JOKER will mean ALL player points TREBLED)

You have a Sunday Joker, a T20 Joker and can select a Tour Joker.

 

All this for a fiver per entry!

 

 

So, without further ado – here are the costings for 2021:

 

Batting

Bowling

Keeper

12th Man

Chris Williams

28.7

Mike Reeves

27.1

Jake Hotson

18.7

James Pearson

7.2

Russell Turner

26.1

Cornelius Vermaak

24.6

Matt Bullock

18.6

Mike Reeves

6.8

James Pearson

25.3

Ian Howarth

24.2

Joe Westmoreland

13.2

Russell Turner

6.5

Mike Reeves

21.7

Mark Rundle

23.7

Geoff Carter

12.1

Ian Howarth

6.2

Ian Howarth

20.1

Gareth Timms

21.7

Chris Williams

5.9

Richard Hadfield

16.3

Andy Darley

19.9

Cornelius Vermaak

4.7

David Shorten

15.3

James Hoskins

18.7

Mark Rundle

4.7

Gareth Timms

14.5

John Harris

18.1

Gareth Timms

4.6

Jan Webster

13.8

James Pearson

16.9

David Shorten

3.6

Lee Ainsworth

12.7

Thornton Smith

16.2

Andy Darley

3.4

Dave Emerson

12.3

Chris Roberts

15.1

Richard Hadfield

3.4

Matt Bullock

11.4

David Shorten

14.2

Chris Roberts

3.3

Joe Cartwright

11.2

Chris Williams

13.4

Joe Cartwright

3.1

Mark Rundle

11.2

Jon Newman

13.2

James Hoskins

3.1

Jake Hotson

11.1

Lee Ainsworth

13.2

Matt Bullock

3.1

Geoff Carter

10.2

Russell Turner

10.2

Jake Hotson

2.9

Luke Jenkins

10.2

Matt Bullock

9.9

Jan Webster

2.9

Thornton Smith

9.1

Luke Jenkins

9.7

Jon Newman

2.9

Cornelius Vermaak

8.7

Jake Hotson

8.7

John Harris

2.8

Dan Westmoreland

8.6

Dan Westmoreland

8.6

Dave Emerson

2.7

John Harris

8.5

Kaito Williams

8.4

Thornton Smith

2.7

Martin Westmoreland

8.4

Joe Westmoreland

8.3

Dan Westmoreland

2.1

Chris Roberts

8.2

Martin Westmoreland

8.2

Geoff Carter

2.1

James Hoskins

8.1

Tiger Williams

8.2

Joe Westmoreland

2.1

Jon Newman

7.9

Dave Emerson

7.9

Martin Westmoreland

2.1

Joe Westmoreland

7.8

Jan Webster

7.9

Tiger Williams

1.7

Andy Darley

7.5

Joe Cartwright

7.9

Kaito Williams

1.7

Kaito Williams

7.4

Richard Hadfield

7.7

Ian Leggate

1.3

Tiger Williams

7.3

Geoff Carter

7.2

Lee Ainsworth

1.3

Ian Leggate

7.1

Ian Leggate

7.1

Luke Jenkins

1.3

Patrick Mellor

7.1

Patrick Mellor

7.1

Patrick Mellor

1.3

Stephen Parkinson

7.1

Stephen Parkinson

7.1

Stephen Parkinson

1.3

 

 

 

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‘Stan’