It's the first tangible sign that the county cricket season is coming into view. That's right, the OWFCL is back!

The game's crème de la crème have been given monetary values expressed in terms of fictitious weekly earnings (based, predominantly, on how each player fared in the County Championship in the last two years, i.e. 2017 and 2018). Your job is to pick a squad of 14 by deploying a maximum weekly wage bill of £31,000.

And this year, just to keep you on your toes, a first for the Oval World fantasy league - a transfer window. Also, points for runs scored will now be divided by 26 (instead of 27) to reflect the lower scores seen in the recent seasons.

That's right, a transfer window has been introduced. Between the 5th April and 13th May 2019, you will be able to drop up to 2 players from your original squad of 14 and replace them with players listed on the selection grid; provided your overall budget does not exceed £31,000 per week and your squad continues to consist of 14 players. The points accrued by the player(s) you choose to bring in will then count in full (as if they had been in your squad from day one) and the points scored by the player(s) you drop will be disregarded.

Points will be based on ALL of the runs, wickets and catches each player registers in Domestic FIRST-CLASS cricket this summer. In other words, performances in Test matches, England Lions' matches, other tour matches (deemed to be first-class) and the first two rounds of MCCU games. However, performances in the Champion County Match in Dubai will NOT qualify and performances by overseas cricketers won't count.

This year, the MCCU matches, deemed first-class, will be:

26-28 March 2019
Cambridge MCCU v Essex
Derbyshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU
Durham v Durham MCCU
Leicestershire v Loughborough MCCU
Middlesex v Oxford MCCU
Somerset v Cardiff MCCU
31 March - 2 April 2019
Cambridge MCCU v Nottinghamshire
Kent v Loughborough MCCU
Leeds/Bradford MCCU v Yorkshire
Northamptonshire v Durham MCCU
Oxford MCCU v Hampshire
Sussex v Cardiff MCCU

As the season progresses, every player will be awarded points on the following bases:

1 point for every 26 runs scored in domestic first-class cricket.

1 point for each first-class wicket taken.

0.2 points for every catch or stumping made in domestic first-class cricket.

Each entrant will need to select a 14-man squad. The squad must consist of:

  • 5 batsmen
  • 1 wicketkeeper
  • 2 batting all-rounders
  • 2 bowling all-rounders, and
  • 4 bowlers.

Players can only be selected from the 340+ non-overseas batsmen, bowlers, all-rounders and keepers listed and valued on the selection grid, which will continue evolving as and when last minute Kolpak signings and player retirements are announced. At the end of the competition, your team's total score will be calculated on the basis of your 4 best batsmen, your 3 highest points-scoring bowlers, your wicketkeeper and your 3 most successful all-rounders - the aim being to arrive at your best 11 players. To see the most up to date selection grid go to:

Click here to see the selection grid - pdf
Click here to see the selection grid - excel
Click here for an application form - pdf
Click here for an application form - excel

You have a weekly budget of £31,000 with which to pay a squad of fourteen. Every possible effort has been made to ensure that the selection grid takes account of recent Kolpak signings, player moves, retirements and long-term injuries; not to mention players choosing to opt out of first-class cricket and, instead, agreeing "white-ball only" contracts, e.g. Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Colin Ingram, Tymal Mills and Peter Trego. (Although you will see that Adil Rashid is included. This is in the expectation that he will retain his place in the England Test team.).

The winner will receive a free Surrey CCC county membership or the cash equivalent. In the unlikely event of a tie for first place, there is also a tie-breaker - How many matches will Surrey win in total in all three of the major domestic competitions this summer?

Each entrant is only allowed to submit one entry. You do not need to be a member of the Surrey CCC Supporters' Club to enter the competition. The entry fee is £5.00 (make cheques payable to the SCCCSC, or make an online transfer to Account Number: 15788860 Sort Code: 30-65-38). Selectors can choose a name for their team, provided it does not exceed 25 letters and isn't considered offensive. All entries must be received before the first ball of the Specsavers County Championship season is bowled at 11am on Friday, 5th April 2019. Just to reiterate, even though 12 first-class fixtures involving the six MCCUs will have concluded prior to April 13, any points scored in these matches WILL count. If necessary, selections can be amended before the deadline either in writing or by e-mail. All correspondence relating to the competition should be sent to Marcus Hook, Flat 1, 67 Birdhurst Rise, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 7EJ or to marcushook64@gmail.com

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