6 down: Fund inquiries for how today’s theme translates to diehards? (5, 5)
This is very almost a great clue: how today’s theme translates to diehards = means tests = fund inquiries.
The problem: a means test isn’t really a fund inquiry as far as I can tell. I reckon funds inquiries might have been OK, but fund inquiries is not right for mine.
11 across: A virtual game with 50/50 participation? (3-7)
It’s rather inelegant: a virtual game with 50/50 participation = a virtual rounders with ll = a rounder with ll = all-rounder = cricket theme.
What’s not quite right: I don’t think the clue does enough to explain how the ll can appear between a and rounder.
22 across: Caught yours truly (6)
It’s cheeky and presumptuous and obscure: caught yours truly = c Astle (DA’s surname) = castle (the wickets apparently, but not in Chambers at least) = cricket theme.
24 across: Bond writer christened Murray (4)
I had never heard of the author, but the triple definition just breaks the rules unnecessarily: writer christened Murray = Bail = bond = cricket theme.
18 down: Cloud over (zero degrees), obscuring face of watch instrument (8)
Sometimes DA stretches things too far: cloud over (zero degrees) obscuring face of watch = duolc – o + timer – t = dulcimer = instrument.
The problem: the zero degrees. To make that mean get rid of an o is quite a stretch, especially when you consider zero degrees would be represented as two zeroes, or 0°.
4 down: Sounds mentally focus lean rider (7)
Another almost great clue: sounds mentally focus lean = sounds psych list = cyclist = rider.
My problem: even though Chambers only says “usu with up” and not always with up, to mentally focus is to psych up, not to psych.
Update: RB’s moment of divine inspiration, as described in the comments, makes 4 down no longer bullshit but gold!