We’re just days away from the start of what has now become one of the most exciting and well supported league in the sporting world. Yes, of course it’s the IPL!
If you thought six weeks of heart-stopping cricket of the highest calibre couldn’t get any better, think again! We’re running daily Fantasy Pick 5 pools for the featured match of the day, with a guaranteed prize fund - £100 for the first round of matches - which is the minimum amount that must be won (no matter how many people play) if you enter for £2!
Simply choose five players from different categories - a Batsmen, Master Blaster, All-Rounder and two Bowlers - but you must pick at least one player per team, and your Banker option scores double.
Also ahead of the big kick-off on April 5, we have our IPL Season long Fantasy Pick 11, where you choose 11 players from a whole host of players to form your team and try to score you the most points!
As the title suggests, the pool lasts for the whole tournament - April 5-May 21 - and is completely free to play, but you’re limited to only one entry. You cannot choose more than two players per team, and of course your Banker scores double.
The categories resemble how a typical T20 team would line-up; two openers, Master Blaster, Batsman, Wicketkeeper, two All-Rounders, Strike Bowler, two Fast Bowlers and a Spinner. Here's a few tips on who to pick:
Openers (1 and 2)
There are 16 players to choose from - two from each team - and Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner, who averaged more than 60 last season for the eventual winners, and Bangalore’s Chris Gayle - the leading run scorer in T20 history - stand out. Mumbai's Rohit Sharma too should be strongly considered while the wildcard in this list is Delhi's 22-year-old Shreyas Iyer.
This is arguably the most difficult category to choose from given that you can only choose one player from a list of world superstars. Out of the nine players, Bangalore’s Virat Kohli, is the most obvious choice given his unbelievable 2016, averaging 81 with four hundreds, but he’s set to miss the first week or two with a shoulder injury. Teammate AB de Villiers is probably the next name on your hit list, while Pune’s Steve Smith or Mumbai’s Jos Buttler should also be considered seriously.
Again, you one only select one batsman with 16 players to choose from. Punjab’s Eoin Morgan immediately stands out but he might not be regular starter as he won’t be available for the duration of the competition. Kolkata’s consistent Manish Pandey could be a sensible choice, while 19-year-old Rishabh Pant of Delhi, who is widely tipped to be the next big thing in India, could well have his breakthrough season.
Former India skipper MS Dhoni, now of Pune, led a Chennai Superkings side made up predominantly of Indian players to two titles and three runners-up medals, so knows what it takes to be successful in the IPL. He averaged an impressive 40 last year, and remains the number one pick behind the stumps.
All-Rounders (1 and 2)
Gujarat's Ravi Jadeja is set to miss the first couple of weeks so Ben Stokes, who became the most expensive foreigner in IPL history when Pune snapped him up in February's auction, could prove a popular pick. Punjab's destructive Glenn Maxwell looks a viable alternative too.
Kolkata’s Sunil Narine could be a great shout as Strike Bowler, while from the Fast Bowlers categories, Mumbai’s Jasprit Bumrah, who has been an outstanding death bowler since bursting onto the scene about 18 months ago and young Bangladeshi Mustafizur Rahman, could both be real handfuls once again. You must pick one spinner, which could well be Hyderabad’s 18-year-old Afghanistan leg spinner, Rashid Khan. His averages are quite outstanding, standing at under 14 in all T20 cricket, which certainly makes him one to look out for.
Of course the new domestic cricket season is just around the corner, and our free to enter Fantasy Cricket 2017 Predictor, with £500 in added prizes, is already live and ready for you to jump in - just predict which teams and players will taste success in all the big domestic competitions this season
But first of all we have the new IPL season, and hopefully you now know everything you need going into our IPL Freeroll - make sure you get your selections in as soon as possible!