@NemoUKS Nemo was it you who set that up!? I had no idea! It's brilliant mate, I got work mates to join and our Marcus Trescothick Fan Club was the highest scoring league last week
by Will4/21/2017 8:51:09 AM
Yeah 48 points bad enough :)
by Lawrence Payne4/21/2017 8:50:38 AM
That was the official ECB punishment, relegation, -48 points and Balladeer supporting you. Brutal.
by NemoUKS4/21/2017 8:49:42 AM
I promised not to plug the fantasy league any more but seeing as you ask... cricketxi.com <- the leagues are full I think but the overall tournament is still open and there's a public league starting in Round 3 you can join which means you're not competing against people with two more rounds of points
by NemoUKS4/21/2017 8:49:23 AM
Changed allegiances to Durham Lawrence. For all the good that's done them.
by StaggerBreaths4/21/2017 8:49:12 AM
Whats with the non Middlesex support SB?
by Lawrence Payne4/21/2017 8:48:43 AM
is it too late to update the fantasy league?> forgot to do before going to work - anyone got a link to it
by dave4/21/2017 8:48:16 AM
Gee, I've just checked my fantasy side again and apparently at some point I decided to drop Dawid Malan for Sean Dickson. That can only end well, right?
by Will4/21/2017 8:47:31 AM
Torn on that one. I'd really like to see Cook make lots and lots and lots and lots of runs, and would take a sign that he's getting back into form in a heartbeat, and I don't formally support Middlesex any more... but...
by StaggerBreaths4/21/2017 8:45:58 AM
I've brought in Alistair Cook. Can my jinxing powers really be that strong?
by NemoUKS4/21/2017 8:42:52 AM
Haha Will :)
by Lawrence Payne4/21/2017 8:41:07 AM
Morning all, hoping my fantasy selection of an unfit Reece Topley for the last two weeks will pay dividends this morning against what looks like a mediocre Yorkshire batting lineup
by Will4/21/2017 8:40:34 AM
by NemoUKS4/21/2017 8:40:33 AM
Think plenty wickets today, Lancs willl have a green top waiting i would imagine
by Lawrence Payne4/21/2017 8:29:03 AM
Backing the Yorkies to take revenge for earlier, possibly by an innings. Draw at Lords most likely. Lancs. and Surrey to win unless rain. Them's my predictions for this round!
by StaggerBreaths4/21/2017 8:26:47 AM
Morning all, my first real taste of the blog this year. A little concerned for Somerset after the defeat last week.
by dave4/21/2017 8:19:12 AM
Bell axed from my fantasy side so bet on big runs for him today :)
by Lawrence Payne4/21/2017 8:09:01 AM
Hi all, overcast almost humid at Bournemouth, bowl 1st at Southampton
by Lawrence Payne4/21/2017 8:05:31 AM
Morning all. Exciting day, as usual.
by Matt Warwick4/21/2017 8:03:43 AM
Morning all, Happy almost full strength Yorkshire side day. It just feels right
by nickcricket4/21/2017 7:48:25 AM
Meanwhile my newly adopted club has, unsurprisingly, voted for the new T20 competition. Because it's poor as hell. Too late to switch back?
by StaggerBreaths4/21/2017 7:35:41 AM
It's April, at a guess. Mind you, Lords was a road last season.
by StaggerBreaths4/21/2017 7:14:55 AM
Wonder what zaidi did to be dropped
by Kartikeya Juneja new4/21/2017 7:10:31 AM
'...tubby spinner Ashar Zaidi...' Great stuff. Who pens these?
Reece Topley is in Hampshire's squad to face Yorkshire in the Championship and could bowl in first-class cricket for the first time since 2015
by David Hopps4/20/2017 5:04:17 PM
Gloucestershire v Durham
Durham are already 89 points behind Second Division leaders Nottinghamshire after their defeat against them at Chester-le-Street.
They face a familiar presence in their former wicketkeeper Phil Mustard, who is captaining Gloucestershire after Gareth Roderick’s pre-season preparations were affected by illness. Mustard led them to victory over Leicestershire last week after an opening defeat at Kent, with Liam Norwell taking his tally of wickets for the season to 18 – comfortably the best in Division Two.
Durham's thin squad has been stretched by the loss of former England Under-19 batsman Jack Burnham with a broken thumb. Graham Clark is added to the squad but they may be tempted into a loan signing.
Kent v Derbyshire
Kent, with the veteran seamer Gareth Stevens in age-defying form, are one of three counties to have opened up with consecutive wins in Division Two. James Harris, who is on loan to Kent from Middlesex, returns to Kent;s squad and could join a dangerous combo alongside Wayne Parnell, the South African who has joined them for an early-season stint.
Alex Blake replaces Joe Weatherley, who is ill. Sam Northeast looked in great form against Sussex – and his golden run began againmst Derbyshire last season with a career-best 191.
Derbyshire have not won in the Championship for a season and a half although they showed a positive attitude in setting up a last-day run chase in their first game of this season against Northants, eventually losing on the penultimate ball of the match. Hardus Viljoen is still unfit.
Leicestershire v Glamorgan
Mark Cosgrove, Leicestershire’s Australian captain, misses the game against his former club as he serves the one-match suspension imposed for his team’s poor disciplinary record over the last two seasons.
Cameron Delport, a South African who has only previously played white-ball cricket for the Foxes, will replace Cosgrove in the middle order, with 27-year-old Ned Eckersley taking over the captaincy, and Charlie Shreck returning to the squad after a two-match internal suspension.
Leicestershire, on minus 8, are 15 adrift of struggling Glamorgan, even though Robert Croft’s team have taken only seven points from their heavy defeats against Northamptonshire and Worcestershire.
Nottinghamshire v Sussex
Stuart Broad, freed up by England, forms a seam attack of at least three internationals with Jake Ball and James Pattinson – and possibly four, depending on whether Peter Moores selects Harry Gurney or Luke Fletcher to complete the quartet against the club he coached to their first Championship in 2003.
Pattinson’s inclusion in Australia’s Champions Trophy squad today means Notts are looking for a replacement for the busy Championship programme in June.
Sussex also have issues over an overseas seamer. They lost South African Vernon Philander with a groin injury in an opening defeat by Kent. They await news as to whether Steve Magoffin has recovered from a knee injury, and youngsters George Garton, Stuart Whittingham and Adam Barton are also included in the squad.
Worcestershire v Northamptonshire
Northants have opened up with consecutive Championship wins for the first time since 1997, making it five on the bounce after their uplifting end to the 2016 campaign. Not just a T20 side then? Astonishingly, the county have never before started a season with three wins on the bounce.
Northants lack Ben Sanderson, the former Yorkshire seamer, injured at Derby last week. Veteran Mohammad Azharullah is included in a 13-man squad.
Worcestershire did the double over Northants last season. Moeen Ali, the England allrounder, returns.
by David Hopps4/20/2017 2:47:43 PM
Hampshire v Yorkshire
Yorkshire are aching to avenge a shock defeat by Hampshire in the opening round on their own Headingley midden and this time they have a formidable look about them as Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow are both freed from their central contracts to make a rare Championship appearance.
Adil Rashid and David Willey have already made an impact as they bounced back from that opening defeat with a convincing win at Warwickshire, and although seam trio Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks are still missing, Ben Coad has relished his opportunity by taking 18 wickets in two matches and won an extended contract as a result.
Reece Topley will return for Hampshire, unless he slashes his bowling hand while taking the top of a hard-boiled egg at breakfast. Topley, whose career was disrupted by injury at his first county, Essex, has endured a nightmare 12 months since signing, suffering a broken hand batting on his Hampshire debut against Warwickshire last April and following up with back and shoulder problems.
Lancashire v Somerset
Liam Livingstone continues as Lancashire captain in the continued absence with a hand injury of Steven Croft. James Anderson, who mentioned in passing recently that he would have liked to be considered for the England captaincy, is back for Lancashire but plays under Livingstone'e leadership.
Tom Abell, a product of Taunton School and Somerset's captain at 23, may need to grow up quickly if their eight-wicket defeat last week to Essex is any guide. Abell made 0 and 1 against Essex and had an equally testing time against the searching questions that followed the defeat.
Somerset have named a 13-man squad with Tim Groenewald and Josh Davey added to the 11 who lost their opening match against Essex in Taunton.
Middlesex v Essex
Alastair Cook will be on familiar territory at Lord’s, but playing for county rather than country, and aiming to continue the form which brought him a match-winning century at Taunton last weekend. He needs 30 to reach 20,000 first-class runs – 11,057 of them in Test cricket.
Matt Quinn, a New Zealand born seamer, returns to the Essex squad after a long injury absence, with tubby spinner Ashar Zaidi dropping out.
Middlesex return to Lord’s for the first time since claiming the title by beating Yorkshire on the final afternoon of last season. They will pick from a 14-man squad with Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins and Ravi Patel added to the 11 who opened up with a draw at Hampshire.
Warwickshire v Surrey
Warwickshire for relegation anyone? Ashley Giles, who returned to Edgbaston as director of cricket in the winter, warned there will be "no quick fixes" after an ageing side were thumped by Yorkshire and admits the team’s start to the season has “hit the dressing room hard”. They are bottom of the table, and still without a batting point. Experienced opener Ian Westwood returns to the squad after injury, and youngster Matt Lamb replaces woefully out-of-form Sam Hain.
Surrey needed centuries from Scott Borthwick and Kumar Sangakkara to salavage a draw at the Kia Oval against a Lancashire side that presented a tougher challenge than they might have anticipated. They name the same 13-man squad, with Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker travelling with the 11 who played Lancashire.