Cosmic Celebrity Cricket

The players are aliens living on the Planet Flungo, in the far distant future. TV and radio transmissions from Earth have at last reached Flungo, and are popular amongst the inhabitants. Their favourite programme is "Test Match Special" and whilst they are waiting the 32,478 million years it will take Mrs. Snodgebucket from Chipping Sodbury to receive their request for one of her Dundee cakes, they are passing the time by running limited overs competitions.

As the Flungonians consist entirely of protoplasmic gunge, they cannot actually play cricket themselves, so they construct living replicas of beings they see on Earth TV, and take great pleasure in coming up with the most bizarre teams.

The postal game is for any number of players and can be played in league or knockout format as desired. For example a 4-team mini-tournament: Turns 1-4 are the two semi-finals played concurrently, followed by the final and 3rd/4th play-off concurrently played in turns 5-8.

Before a ball is bowled, players must set up their squads. The GM sends them the stats for their 18 cricketers and each one must be named by the player.

Squad members may be real, imaginary, live, dead, human, animal or whatever. The only restriction is that they must have appeared on TV or radio.

Prior to any matches being played, the teams are published in the zine. Note that being replicas it is possible for the same celebrity to appear in more than one team. Draws / schedules are made, so that each player knows who he is playing and on what pitch.

Each player then selects 11 players for the first match. Matches can be 20, 40 or 50 overs a side. Each innings consists of 2 turns - the first 15, 30 or 35 overs then (after drinks) the last 5, 10 or 15. See bottom of page for special rules for The Hundred.

Between matches squad members can receive medical treatment and / or training.

1. Squad

At the start of the game, each player is issued with a squad of 18 players which he must name.

Each squad consists of the following:

Star Batsmen 2 20+d6 2d6 d6
Batsmen 4 18+d6 2d6d6
Wicketkeeper 2 16+d6 d62+d4
Star All-rounders 1 18+d618+d62+d4
Batting All-rounders 2 16+d6 12+d6 d6
Bowling All-rounders 2 12+d6 16+d6d6
Star Bowlers 2 2d620+d6d6
Bowlers 3 2d618+d6 d6

Sample team sheet

2. Bowling Adjustments

Each bowler is assigned a random style of "spin"," medium pace", or "fast". This is important because of the pitch and the weather. The pitch conditions and weather are known before the team is picked.

2.1 Pitch (D6):

1 Perfect batting stripAll bowlers at -2
2 Nice pitch for battingAll bowlers at -1
3,4 AverageNone
5 CrackedSpin bowlers at +2
6 Uneven bouncerFast bowlers at +2, medium bowlers at +1

Note that no pitch is used more than once in a competition.

2.2 Weather (D6):

5Overcast Medium bowlers at +2, fast bowlers at +1
6Hot and drySpin bowlers at +1

Note that it never rains or becomes too dark to play (the Flungonians can control the weather).

3. Fielding

Fielding scores are used in the event of a run out chance, or a difficult catch.

4. Start of Match

Each player must choose his 11 to play the match, and nominate the captain and wicketkeeper. The pitch conditions and weather will already be known (via the previous turn report or by email). Each player should also state whether to bat or bowl if winning the toss. In the next issue of the zine, with knowledge of the opponents XI, and if his team is batting or bowling (result of the toss), he should supply orders, as follows...

5. Batting Orders

On the first turn of each match, the batting order must be supplied. This cannot be changed until the drinks break. Each batsman must be assigned a batting style, as follows:

DefensiveReduces the chances of being out, but less runs are scored
NormalSensible batting
AggressiveQuite risky but ups the run rate
WahooCaution to the wind!

If not specified, the default is "normal". See GM's section for more details.

Free-format conditional orders can be supplied, e.g. "After 20 overs, if I have lost 3 wickets or less all batsmen will be aggressive, but will reduce to normal when the 6th wicket is lost."

The batting team has two reviews per innings which can only be used for lbw shouts. They are used up if unsuccessful. The default is for them to be used on all lbws until exhausted.

At the drinks interval, there is a chance to amend orders.

6. Bowling Orders

The bowling player must decide who is going to bowl which overs. No bowler may bowl more than 4 overs (20-20), 8 overs (40 over game), 10 overs (50 over game) or 2 overs in succession.

The bowling team has two reviews per innings which can only be used for lbw shouts. They are used up if unsuccessful. The default is for them to be used on all lbws until exhausted.

At the drinks interval, there is a chance to amend orders.

7. Between Matches

Each player has 6 squad helper points which can be spent on medical treatment for injured cricketers and/or boosting squad members' stats. Only one point per squad member can be spent on improvements, but there are no restrictions on medical treatment. Injured players who do not receive the necessary treatment (e.g if they have 3 injury points then 3 helper points will cure them) must sit out the next match after which they will be healed.

Note that boosts can me made on batting, bowling or fielding, but fielding cannot go above 6. If a manager does not specify what the points are to be spent on, the default is to improve the fielding score of the 6 players with the lowest numbers.

8. GM's Section

To GM the game, a set of polyhedra gaming dice (D4, D6, D8, D10 [or D12 ignore 11 and 12] and D20) is all you need. A computer program could be used but the instructions below invlove rolling dice. A lot.

8.1 Ball by Ball

For each ball, roll 2D6 of different colours, assigning them as dice 1 and dice 2.

Dice 1Dice 2Result
111 run
121 run
211 run
222 runs
33? runs: D6 - 1 = 1 run; 2 = 2 runs; 3,4,5 = 3 runs; 6 = all run four
444 runs (boundary)
55HOWZAT! Go to 8.3
66Big Hit D6 - 1-4 = 4; 5-6 = 6
14Extras D6 - 1,2 = no ball; 3 = byes*; 4,5 = leg byes*; 6 = wide

* roll D6 - 1,2,3 = 1 run; 4,5 = 2 runs, 6 = 4 runs

All other combinations represent a "dot ball".

8.2. Batting Style Modifiers:

DefensiveDice 2 becomes a D8, and if it comes up 7 or 8 a dot ball results
NormalBoth dice are D6
AggressiveDice 2 becomes a D8, and if comes up 7 or 8 matches dice 1 (e.g. 5,7 = howzat!)
WahooAs aggressive, but a D10 is used for dice 2

8.3. Howzat!

First the method of possible dismissal is determined by rolling a D10:

RollDismissal Type
1, 2Caught by wicket keeper
3, 4, 5Caught by other fielder
6, 7Bowled
9Run out
10Other D6 - 1,2 = run out, 3,4 = stumped, 5 = hit wicket, 6 = hurt
8.3.1. Run Out

In the event of a run out, roll a D10 to see which player is attempting the throw (skipping the wicket-keeper who is assumed to be manning the stumps). Roll a D6, subtracting 1 if the batsman is in "aggressive" mode, and 2 if in "wahoo". If this number is less than or equal to the fielder's fielding skill - the batsman is out.

8.3.2. Hurt

If "hurt" is indicated, the batsman has been injured and is out for the rest of the game (unlimited substitute fielders are available and they all have a fielding skill of 1 + D4). The extent of the injury is determined by rolling a D6 and subtracting 1. If this results in zero injury points the player will be fit for the next match without medical treatment, otherwise squad helper points must be spent (see rule 7).

8.3.3. Skill Check

For all other results, a check must be made that the chance has actually occurred - i.e. at this point a 6 or 7 implies a ball has been bowled which may or may not hit the stumps depending on the relative skills of the batsman and bowler.

This check is done by calculating the following

H = 10 + bowler's skill rating - batsman's skill rating

n.b. don't forget the pitch and weather modifiers.

Next roll a D20, if this is greater than H, no chance has occurred, otherwise proceed as follows (note that 1 is always a chance, and 20 is always in).

8.3.4 Catching Chance

First roll a D6: 1-4 = easy catch (OUT!), 5-6 = hard catch

Next, if it's not the wicket keeper, roll a D10 to determine the catcher. Easy catches are always made, for a hard catch, roll a D6 which must be less than or equal to the fielder's fielding skill, otherwise the catch has been dropped

8.3.5. Bowled, Stumped, Hit Wicket Chance

Always out.

8.3.6. Lbw Chance

The batsman is out unless a 1 or 2 is rolled on a D6 indicating the umpire has given the batsman the "benefit of the doubt" . However, if the batsman is given out and the batting side use a review, another D6 is rolled and a 1 or 2 overturns the verdict. Similarly if the batsman is reprieved by the original decision and the bowling side uses a review, another D6 is rolled and a 1 or 2 overturns the verdict.

Additional Rules for The Hundred

  1. Each innings is 100 balls long.
  2. Instead of 6-ball overs, there are groups of 5. Each bowler may bowl up to 20 deliveries (four groups) and may bowl 10 (two groups) consecutively.
  3. The field changes ends every 10 balls (instead of each over as in normal cricket).
  4. In the event of a wicket the new batter always faces the next ball except at a change of ends.
  5. There is a new batting type of "Monster" which is a D6 and a D12.
  6. When in Monster mode, the big hit (6+6) is 1-4 = 6; 5 = hard catch on boundary; 6 = easy catch on boundary. The hard catch requires a D6 check against fielding skill, if the catch is not taken a second check is required to see if the fielder has avoided conceding a 6 (one run if successful).
  7. Managers may order a strategic timeout. If one manager does so, the innings is paused (postal turn ends) at the point they chose. If both managers order a timeout, it happens at the earlier time of the two. If neither manager chooses a timeout there isn't one. The earliest allowed timeout is after 25 balls.
  8. There will be live music in the interval between each innings. Managers can name any performers live or dead and the Flungonians will make replicas of them. There is only time for two songs, one for each manager to be played by their chosen musician(s).