Fans rage against inaugural Sim Series – brand current rules “totally unfair”

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With the Sri Lanka v England Test series postponed because of coronavirus, we’re playing out two Test matches between Sri Lanka and England on Cricket Captain 2018’s ‘All-Time Greats’ mode… This is Sim Series.

The great thing about being in sole charge of cricket is that we get to piss about with the regulations halfway through a series.

In the wake of England’s first Test win, we wondered aloud whether they maybe had a bit of an unfair advantage what with having played Test cricket for a century before Sri Lanka got up and running.

For example, England were able to pick Syd Barnes, who played his final Test match in 1914, while poor Sri Lanka somehow ended up with Dinesh Chandimal in the side.

Barnes is probably a bad example because he went to the fence more often than an inquisitive pony and also didn’t contribute with the bat. A change in regs would also rule out Jim Laker, who took 7-86; Wilfred Rhodes, who made 48 and took 3-29; and Herbert Sutcliffe, who made 68.

So here’s our question ahead of the second Test: Should England be forced to exclude players who retired before Sri Lanka’s first Test match in 1982?

You can have your say below. (Or here’s a link because the form probably won’t show up in the daily email.)


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Nah, man of the match was Ben Stokes. There’s absolutely no reason why Sangakarra (or Murali, or anyone else, really) couldn’t play a match winning hand next time around.

  2. Hm, I don’t know if it logs the response each time, but the poll let me respond 3 times

    1. Yeah, it does. It was either that or force people to log into Google to answer and that just seemed unnecessary.

      We figure all decent people can be trusted to enter no more than twice.

      1. I voted No twice and Yes once.

        You can trust all decent people to vote an odd number of times.

  3. Maybe the Sri Lankans should consider some left field call ups from the Ceylon national cricket team?

    Derrick De Saram and Mahadevan Sathasivam have been banging on the doors for decades.

  4. I think you’re actually approaching this from the wrong angle; wouldn’t it be fairer to select an England team from the first 36 years of their test history (1877 to 1913)?

    1. That’s an interesting idea. The only flaw we can see is that it would rule out all the 1990s cricketers we want to pick.

      1. How about fielding a worst Test XI instead? Then you could pick all the 90sc England players you like.

      2. REALLY like this idea. A one-cap wonder XI maybe. (Or fewer than three caps or something, because batsmen always get a few chances.) This could perhaps be a separate thing after this series has finished.

        Or alternative 90s. Always seemed like England had the capacity to pick a good team, but didn’t.

      3. I’m rolling with this one…

        ..and so is my next suggestion: A Rotund England XI.

        So many of our favourites could have a gig:

        Bob Key
        Colin Milburn
        …quite an opening pair…
        Mike Gatting
        Ian Botham
        Ian Austin
        Ian Blackwell
        …what is it with Ians and rotund allrounderness?…
        Samit Patel

        I’m sure you can fill up the team from there.

      4. England had two of the 16 players with the most first class hundreds ever; Hick eighth, Ramprakash sixteenth. Every other player in the top thirty of that list was a great test batsman, and they both failed miserably at test level. Either we were very unlucky, or the team was being badly run.

        Add in the Stewart hokey cokey, the obsession with picking four bowlers who couldn’t bat at all and one all rounder who couldn’t bowl, and the general air of misery that seems to permeate the recollections of players from that team (Jesus Atherton hated being England captain), and I’d agree there was a good team in there somewhere if the set up had been different.

        Though maybe we were just shite.

    2. Completely agree. Though not sure it would work; England were completely dominant in the period up to the first world war, so they might win even more easily.

      Hobbs, Shrewsbury, Grace, Ranjitsinhji, Woolley, Rhodes, Jessop, Peel, Briggs, Lohmann, Barnes. Jessop keeps wicket.

      1. Dan Liebke says to truly make things fair, England need to be similarly disadvantaged to Sri Lanka in the first Test – say by only having access to players from 25 per cent of Sri Lanka’s Test history. (E.g. just the Nineties.)

      2. Sounds reasonable, but to make it completely fair the Sri Lankan team should then be selected and managed by Ray Illingworth.

        Difficult to simulate, though you could make a start by picking names at random out of a hat before every game while shouting about your selection brilliance.

  5. To level things up you need some random condition that applies equally to both teams, something that would get rid of Underwood, Botham, Gower, etc. Like, oh I don’t know… something like – only players with four letters or fewer in their last name.

    I’ll start you off – Chaminda Vaas.

      1. Dammit, get rid of May.
        Either stick Wood in there (or Read, and have Ames as a specialist bat).

  6. I still don’t understand what all the controversy is about. Surely you just pick Kaluwitharana and Sri Lanka have a better team? Is it a “can’t be bothered to type another long name” problem?

  7. Just as long a Mark Lathwell gets picked when he is woefully out of nick.
    Would this be a good time to submit my book review of ‘Following On’?

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