2012 FCL Entries & Selections

The fundraising phase is now pretty much complete, with just a few accounting details to tidy up & maybe some lucky dips to come, but we've now reached the point of giving up on any teams remaining to be submitted, irrespective of any outstanding pledges, so we can release our entry & selection figures for the 2012 Easton Cowboys Fantasy Cricket League:

League Entries

Total Number of Teams Submitted: 67

So a big thanks to Dean for his time & patience, dealing with all the accounting & voluntarily contributing copious quantities of printer ink & paper.

And there’ll be more to come, for weekly analysis at the Plough.

A number of those 67 teams share the same owner. Of the owners with 2 teams, several are cowboys with positions of responsibility to the club or equivalent attitudes to the fantasy league, all setting good examples there lads:

Justin Avery & Rob Taylor are the FCL administrators, Steve O is club secretary, Evan Gibbons, Neil Boulton & DC1 are this year's league team skippers, Dean Carter is treasurer, & he & Rob Tinkler, are 2 of the vices, so extra cheers for their support should go to some club stalwarts without current office; Dave Toole, Duncan Brewood, Gretch Eller, DC2 & Ian Higgins who've all entered 2 teams.

A special mention should be made of DC1's second entry, Pat's Funeral XI, which has been generated by a supernatural selection process & so has exclusive rights to a chameleon wicket keeper.

The Saturday Finees have entered 3 Lucky Dip teams, invested not from the 2011 coffers, but representing a beer barrel hedge fund to be cashed in shortly one Saturday at Winford; thanks to finesfuhrer RT1 for helping to rock the inertia on that one.

So there are 13 cowboys with pairs of teams = 26, one group with 3 making 29, which leaves 38 other teams out there.

Despite having things to do other than play cricket or even fantasy cricket or even being cowboys, a number of team owners are particularly worthy of praise for their submissions & support. The notable other halves, long standing cricket supporters & females active within our club in other sports are Erika Taylor, Candi Tyler, Dainty Wallop, Annie Cullum, Zoe Gibbons & Annie Amphlett. Thank you all most kindly lasses. We've also had an entry from welsh Scott Thomas, not unknown as a cricketer himself, amongst some others from the footy divisions & our Heads of State; so thanks too to Jack Daniells, Paul Cupis, Tom Maheady & Peace Handovsky for exemplary commitment. Jamie & Nigel both gave Dean £5 to the cause at the Plough & have ended up with one team of Half-Committed Winners.

Kass from the Plough has gone for a lucky dip, but no such luck with Otam. We've also had a couple of entries from folks who, to our shame, are names none of us here recognise, so apologies for our ignorance & thank you honorary cowboys Ian Riddell & Nat Brown, whoever you may be. Entries from two other new honorary cowboys have given us particular satisfaction; Tom Taylor has entered his Allstars & should be about & available some time not long after the academic year is complete; apparently he's a younger, bigger, stronger, faster version of RT2 who knows how to concentrate when he bats & can keep wicket quite handily too. Unfortunately for him, like his brother, someone's already got his initials, so he'll be TT2. Finally Phil Whiting, one of my old firm, currently inhabiting Townsville, Oz, who responded with his team, Allegedly... within 3 hours of receiving an email telling him the EC FCL existed. Given we had a hard enough time getting many of our cricketers to get their acts together with over 2 months notice, we think this is extraordinary expediency, worthy of special applause & will give the league a welcome international connection & tropical flavour, especially after sadly receiving no response whatsoever from notable cricketing cowboys currently inhabiting NZ, Oz or China.

Together these worthy sponsors have generated 17 full teams, so 21 other teams remain from cowboys cricketers

Total cowboys cricketer team owners: 13 + 21 = 34, + 1 consortium

Of those 34, there are a few laudable individuals who have entered teams despite being of limited availability or fully unavailable. Alan Cuthill is managing a team while sadly unavailable in strange, foreign lands, Aaron Rogers, while being transiently away & Dave Flinton, while serving genetic imperatives. So just excluding those specifically mentioned, the cricketers participating in FCL who are also likely to play a little cricket this season is: 34 - 3 = 31, + 1 consortium

Pats on the backs for all 31 of them then; still, not quite enough to get 3 league teams with different players out over a weekend though. So, as things stand, at least two poor cricketers every weekend will be playing league cricket this year without having a fantasy team, which we think is a great shame (selection to play twice in a weekend notwithstanding; yet maybe even then!).

A short rant (sanitised version):

There are 65 players in the pool, of whom through geographical impossibility, social change or genetic imperatives 7 are most likely not going to play all season (Al Cuthill, Dave Bryant, George Beckley, Martin Blackmore, Simon Wilson, Gary Phillips & Dave Flinton). That leaves another 58 listed cricketers; but hang on, Al & Dave F have submitted teams, & absence can be overcome.

Nobody's heard any news from George Russell, Paul Moylan, Harry Gowling, Gabby Amiel or Trevor Forrest in regard to any cricketing intentions or availability. We can't expect anyone to submit teams if we can't communicate with them, but that still leaves 53 others. For evident reasons we wouldn't expect Kahlu, Aran, Hidayat, Omar or Sayed to participate, & Matts Davey & Noodles are both new to the club this year, but then there's still another 46. Then we expect Sean Parkin, Bill Cullum, Roger Ball, James Mackie, Mark Treacher & Aaron Rogers are certainly going to be absent or out of touch for a good chunk of the season, so they are less personally invested in the Fantasy League this season & might not be expected to submit a team. Yet we are grateful to Aaron in the far off land of away, who has successfully entered & paid for 3 Not Out with a little loving help from his friends. Excluding these still leaves 40 listed cricketers who may figure in a significant number of cricket games this season.

Some may yet have contributed a partial stake through some fines they've already bid farwell to, by way of revenue achieved from its prior conversion to consumable liquid. Fantasy cricket is not everyone's thing & these are hard & crazy times. Despite our tournament fundraising obligations, we want this to be a voluntary game, so that's all we're going to say on the matter.

Oh, but if you spot someone in our player pool who hasn't managed to submit a team & you think you might have the key to unlocking their frozen heart, please have a word; we'll all benefit in the long term.

That's fundraising over, now for the stats:

The most popular theme among team names was the use of Eleven, or XI, or 11, & in one case, X11; The gets in there a few times, there are 3 CCs, a couple of Allstars & a pair of Giants, but other than the rather dull Lucky Dip 1, 2 & 3, the rest are radically individual, which is pleasingly characteristic. Looking at their values, the majority of teams cost within a couple of Bn of the full £100Bn budget, though most of the Lucky Dip teams have something in the bag for a mid-season revolution. The most inexpensive team by a fair way is DC1’s Bristol Cowboys, which has used only £74 Bn of their budget & comprises Bristolians exclusively (plus 1 Overseas Player).

2012 Selection Popularity

Selection Popularity

The most popular 11 cricketers are 4 All Rounders, 4 Batsmen, 2 Bowlers & 1 Wicket Keeper; together costing £113Bn.

Selection popularity this year generally bears out the player valuations, as primarily generated from the 2011 stats. The more expensive players have generally been selected more, despite their costs, in the expectation that they will repeat their dominant scoring performances this year, but there are some notable exceptions, showing where we may have critically under or over valued.

Just over half of all teams (34/67) contain an Ev, this year's Saturday skipper, reliable performer & joint highest value player, who finished way ahead of everyone but Kahlu on fantasy points for 2011. Then, in just under half the teams (33), is this years Sunday 1s skipper, opener & joint highest value batsman Voltan. Besides their cricketing talents, as skippers, both are likely to miss very few games, if any, & are 2012's most popular fantasy cricketers. Rob T2 (just behind on 32) had been miles ahead in popularity most of the pre-season, & at one stage featured in 75% of all teams submitted; one of the more financially demanding all rounders, but with the potential to score fantasy points at a rate similar to the most expensive elite, his 2011 assessment was based on a partial debut season, so there are great expectations for this year.

Also expected to keep their form this year are the top batting, bowling & all round performers of 2011; Justin (29), scored the most 50s in 2011 & is joint highest value batsman & Sunday 1s regular opener, Tim (28), top price bowler & the outstanding wicket & hat trick taker in the club last year, & Kahlu, whose epiphanal summer with flashing blade & demonic leg spin made him outright top cowboy cricketer in 2011 & joint highest price of all, level on 27 selections with a couple of undervalued bargains. Tall Dave Tooley suffered an unfortunate & truncated debut season, with a few sporadic league appearances in the Sunday 1sts cursed number 5 slot in which he kept getting ducks, but when we faced his friendly side at the end of last season, he promptly scored a ton. 27 smart investors reckon last season was uncharacteristic, & gambling on his potential, Ev has now enticed him into the Saturday side, but even if some skippers can't back talent, they occasionally get lumbered with it anyway. Ev would probably have got new recruit Matt Davey too, except that he has other commitments on Saturdays, so the great hope is that his Saturday commitments don't exhaust him unduly, he'll feature regularly for the Sunday 1s & be a great success. As administrators we have to admit to confusion & stunningly faulty recognition in this case, with a hasty evaluation based on 2011 cowboys performances, but completely oblivious to his wealth of Dyrham & Hinton form; 27 selectors reckon this may well be our greatest misevaluation of the 2012 pool.

Just behind them, RobT1 is this year's Saturday vice & long term finesfuhrer, a reasonably priced, sound investment, preferred in 26 teams, ahead of more extravagant bowling options like Garnier or Joe to play an important role this summer. Also featuring in 26 teams is last season's top of the range wicket keeping fantasy scorer Angelo, always a threat for a rapid, match winning cameo with the bat, starting to develop longer innings & often available for selection twice a weekend. Grover is one of the most recent cowboy centurians in that very exclusive club, so his valuation was tempered by the effects of webgimping, fundraising & t-shirt sales on his availability, but 24 selectors are backing him to get a serious chunk of cricket in this season & realise his potential.

The next most popular all rounders are Wilko, pricy but selected in 23 teams for his reliable slow bowling, effortless batting & slip catching, then reasonably priced, evergreen, veteran, all round performer Duncan & obdurate, bargain value, performing all round veteran Old Ned in 20 teams, closely followed by Iggy, whose restrictions on bowling last season are now healed, so 19 owners expect passionate & explosive fantasy scoring. James Tinx looks to be good value for 18 sides, certain to appear more this year as Sunday 2's vice, he'll stabilise the batting & get the odd victim of guile, while last year's performances from Andy Chester were obscured through accidental absence, so 16 teams have spotted the potential value there.

Gretch is the next most selected keeper, in 23 teams, as he's good value, graceful with the gloves & bound to better his stats from last summer, while at the same cost, 14 owners are backing Jeff to continue his solid, season by season improvement.

Rich Garnier is 3rd most expensive & popular bowler & will be taking wickets with seam & swing for 21 teams; Dean Cartier (20) is a bargain by contrast, vicing again for the Sunday 1s, he scored his highest ever knock last season, has good records for catches & not outs & might even get a chance to score with some off spin. 18 owners are backing Wayne's reasonably priced mystery bowling & occasional swashbuckling, & 17 reckon Martin at the same cost will progress from his liefetime best analysis last summer to more success with wily seam & sloth. Least expensive bowler of the lot, DC2 has found favour with 14 selectors for his tantalising brand of donkey drops & fiesty attitude, which puts him out in front of Omar, potentially the club's most devastating bowler & good value if playing, who made 11 teams despite his unpredictable availability. Perhaps the most significant exception to the general relation between our budgetary value & selection popularity appears for our second most highly valued bowler. Joe Budge generally seems to lack faith amongst selectors that he would be able to reproduce the solid bowling, resolute batting & extraordinary catching performances of 2011.

Ben Preece will bat stylishly at an affordable price for 20 teams, & DC1 is reinvigorated as Sunday 2's skipper & good value for 16 sides who reckon he still has a trick or two up his sleeve. Nelly features at a bargain price in 12 teams for his pugnacious batting, & also as a batsman, though possibly more for his leg spin, Stroddy is misclassified in 11 teams.

Although some cricketers seemed extremely attractive to the Lucky Dip crickomatic selection scheme, no other cricketers featured in more than 10 teams, & other than those identified as being chronically unavailable, everyone in the pool was selected at least once, including some whose availability is dubious, limited or mysterious.

Captaincy Popularity

For week 1, in which only Saturdays were scheduled to play, Evan & Kahlu skippered 13 teams each & Tim Taylor 9, accounting for over 1/2 of all teams between them; Wilko stood as captain in 4, & RT2 3, despite a Sunday preference, but Iggy & Ben P also captained 3.

The power was distributed more evenly for week 2, yet Kahlu & Ev still command unfeasibly large number of cricketers, >1/3 of all teams between them.

Kahlu's control has slipped to 12 teams & Ev's to 11, but Tim's chairmen seem the most fickle, leaving him leading 3; Iggy & Ben P were unaffected, but there were compensatory promotions for Wilko & RobT2 to 5 teams, while Volts & Justin have now risen to power in 3 teams.