The 13th Cricket World Cup begins today with a repeat of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand at Ahmedabad but the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 Dream11 fantasy game is already up and running, offering scores of prizes including signed memorabilia, vouchers and tickets to next year’s men’s T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.
Here’s how it works and how to get ahead.
How to select players
The parameters on how to select players is not very strict. You are given a budget of 100 credits to pick your 11 players, with each player costing anywhere between nine and 11 credits.
In your XI, you can have up to four players listed as wicket-keepers, between three and six players listed as batsmen, between one and four players listed as all-rounders, and three and six players listed as bowlers.
You select a captain, who scores you double points, and a vice-captain, who multiplies his points by 1.5. You cannot pick more than seven players from any one of the 10 teams.
In the course of the 48-match tournament you are able to make a whopping 145 changes to your team: 135 in the group stages and 10 in the knockouts. Essentially, you have three changes per match.
How to score points
One point per run scored, with a bonus of one for a four and two for a six (ie a boundary four gets you five points, and a six gets you eight). Upon reaching a half-century, a batsman accrues a bonus of four and upon reaching a century, it’s eight. If one of your batsmen makes a duck, three points are lost. There are also bonus points available for a rapid strike rate.
A wicket earns 25 points, with an eight-point bonus if dismissed bowled or leg-before. If a bowler picks up four wickets, they get a four-point bonus, and a five-fer brings an 8-point bonus. Maiden overs will be rare, but bring a four-point bonus. Bonuses are also available if a bowler has an excellent economy rate, but points will be lost if the bowlers are expensive. For instance, if they travel at above nine runs an over in an innings, it’s minus six points.
It’s eight points for a catch, and an extra four points if a fielder takes three catches in an innings. Stumpings are worth 12, as are direct-hit run-outs. Run-outs that are not direct hits are worth six.
Who has the opportunity to face the most balls, and therefore the opportunities to score the most runs? Openers followed by No3s. Stack your batting line-up with those based higher up the order. They are also likely to deal in boundaries with the field up in the powerplay, too. Think beyond the obvious openers too. Could New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra be an option? He is listed as an all-rounder (cost eight) but it looks like he will be shoe-horned in at the top of the order, and is in great form.
Rohit Sharma is an obvious option, given he is the captain of the home team and an all-time ODI great. But he looks an outstanding option as an opener with a superb record, who hits a lot of boundaries. In the last five years, he has 106 ODI sixes, 26 more than anyone else. Given the boundary bonuses, those are numbers not to be sniffed at.
There are some outstanding batsmen lurking lower down the order and ODIs are long enough for them to have a huge impact on the game. But their points are more likely to be accumulated in dramatic bursts rather than game after game, like an opener with all that opportunity.
Think about second suits
Joe Root is listed as a batsman, and should be one of the most reliable run-scorers in the tournament. But he also bowls some neat off-spin, which may bag him a couple of wickets through the tournament. Equally, Afghanistan’s gun spinner Rashid Khan is listed as a bowler, but is more than capable of whacking quick runs from the lower middle-order. Players who can pick up surprising extra points with a second suit are valuable, and it’s great to have your players’ contributions not confined to one passage of the match.
A wicket out caught is worth 25 points, but a wicket out bowled or lbw is worth 33. So think about bowlers who target the stumps, whether a spinner firing it in like Rashid Khan, or a seamer bowling booming yorkers such as Mitchell Starc.
Overall, don’t undervalue attacking, wicket-taking bowlers. In the blink of an eye, they can summon you 25 – or indeed 33 – points, whereas that will take even the best batsmen time to accumulate.
The wicket-keeper looks a good opportunity to bag some bargains as they score runs and take catches.
Jos Buttler (who will keep) and Heinrich Klaasen (who won’t) are two of the most destructive hitters in the tournament, who will bash you lots of boundaries. Both cost just 8.5. Cheaper still is Rahmanullah Gurbaz – nickname Gurboss – the brutal Afghanistan keeper who opens the batting. Will be hit or miss, but when he hits it stays hit. Perhaps particularly keep an eye on Kusal Mendis, who costs just eight credits, and is Sri Lanka’s captain, wicket-keeper, and No3, and showed fine form in the warm ups.
Among the bowlers, Mohammed Siraj, Adil Rashid and Adam Zampa look cheap at eight credits. Bangladesh batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto is on the cheap side at seven, too.
Target the Netherlands
With utmost respect to the Dutch, who have done so well to qualify, in Asian conditions, they should be the weakest of the 10 teams. So look who plays them next, and use your transfers to maximise that.
With so many transfers, there’s no excuse for having a quiet game, or for one of your players to miss out with injury or a well-advertised rest – especially if he is your captain or vice-captain, who must be used wisely. Keep a close eye on the cricket news (especially on Telegraph Sport, of course).