A free Champions Trophy fantasy league – because, why not?

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ICC balaclava

We’re going with the ICC’s own fantasy league this time around. It’s free.

If you want to join the King Cricket private league, you’ll need to get a team selected by 10am Thursday, UK time. There’s then a ‘join/create league’ link in the Leagues dropdown.

The private league code for The Cricket Kingdom is 826856-3985

The prize, as ever, is the respect/resentment of your peers.

There are no ones

When selecting your team, you’ll notice that every player has been assigned a value. The values range from 2-10. Either the ICC are innumerate (highly likely) or they’re leaving open the possibility that England might inexplicably call up Jim Foat at the last minute and are giving themselves room for manoeuvre.

You can make transfers

If you’re that way inclined. This still seems to us to be some sort of insane threshold that we will never cross. But who knows? Strangers things have happened.

We remember this one time when we were about eight, Matthew and Gavin were playing Top Trumps and when Matthew lost a card, he threw it in a temper and it arced through the air and landed right on top of the deck in Gavin’s hand.

You think about it like that and maybe there’s a chance that in a fortnight we’ll feel moved to spend 60 seconds replacing Shakib-al-Hasan with someone who’s still taking part in the tournament.

Your players can actually lose points

They’ll be penalised for recording a duck, scoring fairly slowly, bowling wides and no-balls, and for conceding loads of runs.

This seems a good thing. We were sorely tempted to pick a side that could strive for an overall negative score – but frankly we’d already invested time selecting one side and couldn’t be bothered going through the process again. It’s still an option for you though.


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. Under the basis that I’m not making changes, I’ve picked players from the teams who will make the semi finals.

    1. Quinton de Kock
    2. Hashim Amla
    3. Aaron Finch
    4. Eoin Morgan
    5. Ben Stokes
    6. David Miller
    7. Ravi Jadeja
    8. Liam Plunkett
    9. Kagiso Rabada
    10. Josh Hazlewood
    11. Jasprit Bumrah

    I thought this game was pleasantly more stingy with the points than expected. Normally these games let you pick almost whoever you want and most sides end up the same. This time picking a 7/10 player who I thought was a bargain was actually a sizeable investment and you’re going to need at least one ‘might actually do alright’ player in there.

    1. I found it quite generous, actually – more so than the recent EIGHT JEFFING QUID Torygraph league. Less of that sort of thing.

      M Guptill
      T Iqbal
      J Root (*)
      V Kohli
      A Mathews
      J Buttler
      M Ali
      H Pandya
      C Morris
      C Woakes
      M Starc

      Knock it out the park.

      1. I was forced to pick SoumyaSarkar & Luke Ronchi in place of vKohli & QdeKock, because of point restrictions. I am now desperately wishing this to be a fast bowler’s tournament, so that I can win the fantasy league with “Fizz”,mAmir,jBumrah,BhuvneshwarK,cMorris&aMathews

  2. My team name was rejected for a ‘profanity’. I guess Nightwatchman is a dirty word (or at least contains one).

    1. That is an impressively strict filter. Surprised it allows people to select Willey, de Kock or Ball.

  3. Hmm, I named my the The Cricket Kingdom. I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of this

  4. Species Faeces is about to make its mark on the Kingdom. Right in the center.

  5. Giving the ICC my email address is almost as bad as having to spend EIGHT-JEFFING-QUID

    Not doing it.

  6. Interested to see whether any of our ordinarily more passive email readership feels moved to enter this morning.

    1. I’m sure one the covfefe kicks in they’ll be all over it. There are about 20 entrants already so this should be one hell of a contest. Is there truly no worthless freebie/tat in the King Cricket locker which could be offered as Prize?

    2. Maybe a bunch of second-rate cricket books.

      But it’s more a question whether we can be bothered boxing and posting things and we almost certainly can’t.

      1. I’m a more passive reader (in the batting average stakes a Danny Morrison to Bert’s Don Bradman) and I’m in… If I come close to the top you can count on a prevalence of (smug) comments however if I slide down the table i will fall back to obscurity no doubt claiming I never really wanted to play anyway.

        Also I move that substitutions should not be allowed within the Kingdom as it is surely against the spirit of things to actively try and win in this fashion?

      2. You’re not a passive reader. There are a great many people who never comment at all – who don’t even click through from the email. You’re pretty lively.

        We’d agree on transfers, but we doubt we can persuade people to stick to that.

        The problem with transfers is that it always becomes less about selections and more about timing your swaps to maximise returns – which doesn’t to us seem to be the point of the thing.

      1. Depends on your definition of a person.

        The little green monster has just signed up a team as well. You try and stop him.

  7. Passive reader here with Glasgow Strangers

    Williamson, du Plessis, Mendis, Root, Rahim, Jadeja, Wasim, Stokes, Rabada, Boult, Hazlewood.

    No clue why Title is a mandatory field. And if we’re making titles mandatory, I’d like to select “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”, but that wasn’t an option.

    1. Excellent suggested title there from passive reader Yash.

      I’m fascinated to know what Yash’s chosen title might be if he were to become more active.

  8. There’s something odd about the picture that accompanies this post. It’s like they’re a cult or something vaguely masonic.

  9. Universe Boss Memorial Kings XI

    C Woakes
    H Amla
    R Jadeja
    I Tahir
    S Smith
    H Pandya
    G Maxwell
    A Rashid
    Y Singh
    L Ronchi
    E Morgan

    It’s against my core values to stay within budget, but it provided focus, I guess.

  10. Tamim proving an inspired selection for me. I want him to score 160 and then for England to win.

    All the while Mark Wood and Plunkett returning excellent figures.

    Not much to ask.

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