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The term first string can relate to both individual sports and team sports such as squash and football and is generally classed as the top player in any sport or team.
It can also refer to a player in a team who is a regular first team fixture and not a player who is often a substituted or a bench starter.
The top player in a team is can also be associated with the term MVP (most valuable player). This is predominantly a term associated with American sports such as basketball and baseball and is a sought-after award by an individual player. The recipient would most often be one of the first string players.
A first-string player is a reliable candidate to back when picking a player market to bet on. For example, in football, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane is considered a first-string player as he is predominantly the first name on the manager’s team sheet to start a game.
Therefore, backing Kane to score a goal in a game would only enhance a punter’s chances of winning as he would be assured of a starting role in the match.
The same can be said of cricket and backing a first-string player to score the most runs with the bat or take the most wickets with the ball. But due to them often being the star player in a team, the odds will be shorter than those who are not considered first string players.
Tranmere Rovers player Harold Bell proved he was the ultimate first-string player making 375 consecutive league appearances for the club between 1946 and 1955.
Including cup games, that was a run of 401 matches played and to this day remains a record in the English football league.