Want to play All Out Cricket’s KSL Fantasy Game like a pro? Follow James Piechowski’s top tips to pick your ultimate side…
All-Out Cricket have kindly developed a Fantasy Cricket game for the upcoming KSL1 competition. It should be great fun and there’s no reason not to take part! It’s free to join and register a team (all you need is to provide an email address and password) and you can even set up mini-leagues to compete against anyone else you choose.
The rules are fairly simple, but there are a few quirky aspects to the requirements and points scoring system which I aim to help guide you through here. I will outline each role, detail how it scores points, give advice on selection and offer a few possibilities (“Strong Contenders” from different KSL sides) in case anyone is stuck.
Let’s start with the fixed format for your fantasy team. Each 11 must consist of:
- Master Blaster
- Master Blaster
- All Rounder
- All Rounder
- Holding Bowler
- Holding Bowler
- Strike Bowler
- Selections are made from the player listing on the AOC site.
- Any player can go in any slot, but beware, batsmen get very few points for taking wickets, and bowlers very few points for scoring runs! The full rules can be found here.
- You can only select a maximum of 2 players from any one KSL side. This seems to be a very restrictive rule, but it does mean that with only 6 teams, your side is bound to feature at least one player from every KSL team.
- You can make unlimited transfers throughout the season. This just swaps one player for another (team restrictions still apply), but is useful to go with form, or replace injured players
The designers have, predictably, dodged the sizeable task of rating or assigning values to players, and giving you a set fund to pick them from. Instead international slots are not resistricted. This makes selection less complex, but means many fantasy teams will be comprised of 11 internationals. Lots of County players have yet to be selected in anyone’s teams (this is visible as the Popularity stat in the Player List). It will be interesting come the end of the KSL, to see what the top County player side would be in terms of points and how it compares to the top side composed of internationals.
Picking a high-scoring fantasy side
The most important part of team selection to understand is that the role or slot that you place a player in within your team roster, determines what points they can score. If a player scores 20 runs and takes a catch and 1-20, they will score different amounts of points depending on what slot you have placed them in.
Batsman (slots 1 and 2) – A solid position for which their will be many possibilities, and many players who will do well. There are more clear options here than for other batting positions. Bowling is not a consideration for your selections, as the tiny 5 point bonus for a wicket is less than they get from scoring 1 run.
Player scores points based on: Number of runs scored. Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), every boundary, and for strike-rates above 100. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.
Advice: Select players to score most runs. Boundary hitters will score heavily, but any high strike-rate is rewarded.
Strong Contenders: Edwards (SOT), Beaumont (SUR), Blackwell (YOR)
Master Blaster (slots 3 and 4) – This can be a tough selection as 2 of these slots are required in the team. Consider power hitters who will be given some time at the crease. You probably don’t want a player who will just score the most runs, as they would be best suited in another slot. Bowling is not a consideration as the tiny 5 point bonus for a wicket is the same as they get from scoring 1 run.
Player scores points based on: Very large bonus for every six scored (but NO bonus for fours), Number of runs scored, but strangely much less than the Batsman, Finisher or Allrounder slots. Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), and for strike-rates above 100. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.
Advice: There’s little option but to go for Six hitters here. Consider that if an All Rounder is placed here they will get next to nothing from their bowling, however as it will become clear later, this may have to be a sacrifice you make.
Strong Contenders: Dottin (LAN), Lee (WES), Winfield (YOR)
Finisher (slots 5 and 6) – A quirky role, given 2 must be selected. Being “not out” is by far their most important ability, and gives a huge 250 point bonus. They share many of the point scoring options with the Batsman slots but strangely, in another massive quirk of the system, cannot get bonuses from a high strike-rate. Bowling is not a consideration as the tiny 5 point bonus for a wicket is less than they get from scoring 1 run.
Player scores points based on: Being Not Out and Number of runs scored. Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), and every boundary. NO bonus for strike rate. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.
Advice: Go for steady run accumulators known for carrying their bat. They need not score too quickly. Pick solid, probably middle order players. You could pick 2 extra batsmen who just fail to make your number 1 and 2 slots here.
Strong Contenders: Greenway (SOT), Wilson (WES), Satterthwaite (LAN)
Allrounder (slots 7 and 8) – The most “fun” role in my view. Allrounder is sure to be a popular position, it’s just a shame there aren’t more than 2 slots for them! These are the only player slots able to pick up a lot of points for batting AND bowling, and their points bonus per catch, stumping or run-out is sizeable, and more than 3 times that for players in any other slot in your team. Note that batting strike rate is not a factor for points scoring, nor is bowling completed overs.
Player scores points based on: Number of runs scored, wickets taken, economy rates of under 8, and large bonus from dismissals (catches etc). Bonuses for scoring 25 runs (then 50, 75 etc), and every boundary. Allrounders score a large bonus for a catch, stumping or run out (a dismissal). Bonus for taking 3 or more dismissals. Bonus for taking 3 or more wickets.
Advice: Allrounders have the greatest number of potential sources for scoring points of any slot. The choices from available International all rounders are vast. You would be best off picking a player likely to always play, who will get some time to bat, and also either bowl, or keep wicket. Maybe a bowler or batter you wanted to include but couldn’t squeeze into one of the other designated slots. A wicketkeeper (or otherwise any good fielder) is also a good option to maximise the catches and stumpings. If you are having trouble fitting all your favoured batting all-rounders into these 2 slots, as I did, consider playing them in a Master Blaster or Finisher slot instead.
Strong Contenders: Knight (WES), Devine (LBO), Bates (SOT), Sciver (SUR), any first-choice wicketkeeper etc.
Holding bowler (AKA Containing bowler) (slots 9 and 10) – A clear contrast to the Strike Bowler role, the 2 Holding Bowler slots, in yet another quirk, score less than other bowlers for taking wickets. However they score points for bowling completed overs, and biggest of all get a large economy bonus. They are likely to be high points scorers in your fantasy team and there are many options to choose from.
The economy rate bonus can be huge, and is possibly a “broken” feature of the points system. It’s certainly an exploit, as in women’s cricket economy rates of around 4 are quite often seen. Note this also applies for Allrounders. Unless the KSL provides regular team scores of over 160, the economy bonus of the best bowlers is likely to outweigh the bonus even most strike bowlers get for taking wickets.
Although the “3 points per 0.01 runs per over of economy rate under 8.00” may not sound like much, there are 400 times 0.01 between 8.00 and 4.00, giving an instant 1200 points if achieved, so it could easily mean that allrounders and holding bowlers are the main points scorers on your side based on their bowling economy alone. Depending on boundaries and strike rate, a batsman may need to score a century to get that many points in an innings, and as you all will know these are very rare in T20 cricket, especially women’s.
Player scores points based on: Economy rates under 8, Wickets taken, and bowling completed overs. Runs scored are hardly a consideration as only score 1 point per run. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out.
Advice – Choose a reliable economical bowler, likely to play. The role is suited to accurate bowling and forcing batsmen’s mistakes rather than blasting batsmen out.
Strong Contenders – Kapp (SUR), Nielsen (SOT), Hazell (YOR)
Strike bowler (Slot 11) – This single slot gets the most points for taking wickets of any of your players. There are a lot of possible choices, and they are likely to score well if they consistently take at least 1 or 2 wickets per match. The more wickets the better! Don’t worry about runs given away, as no bonuses can be gained in this slot from economical bowling. Unfortunately this probably means that the points gained from this slot will be lower than for holding bowlers or allrounders, as wicket taking bowlers also tend to be miserly.
Player scores points based on: Wickets taken and bowling completed overs. Runs scored are hardly a consideration as only score 1 point per run. Standard bonus for a catch, stumping or run out. NO economy-based bonuses.
Advice – Choose a reliable wicket taker. Wickets are the main focus, as is bowling out 4 overs, so a first choice opening bowler, or a strong death bowler is a good bet. Economy rates are not a consideration here.
Strong Contenders – Brunt (YOR), Farrant (SOT), Shrubsole (WES)
If you like the look of the KSL Fantasy game, remember to pick a team and see how many points it scores!
Point scoring examples
To demonstrate the points scoring system, here are some examples of how a given performance provides vastly different points rewards depending on the slot/role the player is picked in.
Player scores 50 off 35 balls with 6 fours and 1 six. SR = 142
Points scored: Batsman – 725
Master Blaster – 575
Finisher – 650 if out; 900 if not out.
Allrounder – 650
All Bowler slots – 50
Player returns figures of 3/25 off 4 overs. ER = 6.25
Points scored: All 6 Batsman slots – 15 pts
Allrounder – 925
Strike Bowlers – 1250
Holding Bowlers -1050
Player returns figures of 1/15 off 4 overs. ER = 3.75
Points scored: All 6 Batsman slots – 5 pts
Allrounder – 1375
Strike Bowlers – 450
Holding Bowlers – 1550