With the ICC World Cup just two days away and amid all the cricket excitement, there are quite a few options for those who want to be a part of the action. Fantasy cricket leagues are springing up, while online games that let you play cricket are also there.
Dream11 is one such fantasy league, which, as founder Harsh Jain points out, is the only online site that focuses entirely on fantasy cricket. He said, “There are others too, who offer fantasy cricket, but they are part of a bigger site which serves scores and commentary, which is what the people go there for. What we do instead is provide a comprehensive service where you come to our site to play the game and to engage with others in the community, and we already have over 600,000 people playing the game.”
Another option is the Super Selector by ESPN-STAR Sports, which also allows users to create a fantasy cricket team, and then awards points based on the performance of the players in the actual games of the World Cup. The winners will win big cash prizes and can also win a Galaxy Tab, or discounts from some of the partner sponsors.
Dream11 takes things a little further by building a whole graphical representation of the field and showing your players at their places, further building immersion. Jain said, “We have been building on our experience for over a year now, and our USP has been our graphical interface, which is much simpler than the forest of numbers that others provide.”
He further said that while Dream11 offered no content to divert people from games, it was also featured on a number of partner sites, including Oneindia.com, Indiatimes, Cricbuzz and also the Adidas Cricket page on Facebook, which brought a lot of players on board.
With both these games, you can share your team’s performance on Facebook, and show off your knowledge of cricket to your friends, while also winning prizes. In Super Selector, aside from being part of the overall game for prizes, you can also challenge your friends to head to head competition of their teams and yours, further leveraging the social aspect of the games.
PlayUp is an SMS-based mobile game, which gives you a chance to test your cricket knowledge by making guesses about anything – from the number of runs in an over to answering quizzes, which also connects with your friends using the service. Unlike the Super Selector or Dream11, it’s not free to use, since you have to pay the operator to send the SMSes, but Rajat Kulshrestha, Founder of PlayUp, said that the engagement and audience numbers were proof that this was not a deterrent. He said, “During the IPL, we got between 30,000 and 40,000 SMSes per inning, and during the ICC World Cup we are expecting even more.”
Even Yatra.com is in on the game. The travel portal released the Yatra.com Cricket Manager; where users can manage the travel and stay planning for the Indian cricket team through the World Cup, and the person who manages this the best (taking into account costs, time involved, comfort and other factors), will win a chance to travel with the team.
Meanwhile, Stickcricket, the highly popular cricket game on the Internet, which placed players into the batting crease to score ludicrous totals, has made its way to the iTunes Market and the Android Marketplace as well. Aside from this, here are a few apps that you can download on to your iDevice, and most of these are also available on the Android market, or are on their way there.
For the iPad
nxCricket HD ($13.99): This premium app allows you to follow the scores using your iPad, email them or create a website where anyone else can share the data with you.
Big Cup Cricket Live (Free): A cute game that lets you tap your way into feeling like a cricketer, where you have to bat, bowl and field, and best of all, it’s free.
Cricket Reloaded ($0.99): This app collects the latest cricketing videos as clips, which you can watch on your iPad, from the latest matches or older archived footage.
Cricket Facts and Stats (Free): Cricket fans can test their knowledge against this collection of facts and stats about the game, while others can learn the jargon of cricket and sound like they actually understand the game.
Yahoo! Cricket (Free): Yahoo! Cricket offers many of the same features of the website, with many user friendly interactions, including live scorecards and commentary, and can act as a second screen device to enhance the TV experience too.
CricketWC2011 (Free): The app works as a way to stay up to date with the cricketing action even when you’re on the move, giving live updates and information.
Cricket ODI ($0.99): The 2011 Cricket World ODI Tournament will be the tenth Cricket Cup and will be hosted by three South Asian Test cricket playing countries – India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Cricket World ODI Tournament 2011 Tracker application is to track the latest updates and news about Cricket Cup 2011.
ICC World Cup Cricket (Free): This free calendar app gives you the complete schedule of the matches, along with time and venue, which is handy since it is taking place in three countries.
Cricbuzz – Cricket Scores and News (Free): Get the fastest cricket score updates and ball-by-ball commentary available on the web via CricBuzz directly on to your iPhone. The company promises almost complete sync with the action in the stadium with nearly no delay in the updates, promising better speed than anyone else.
Cricinfo app (free): Features on the app include an integrated live game experience, personalisation options, wicket alerts and opinion from cricket legends such as Geoff Boycott and Ian Chappell. There is also exclusive video content, including classic World Cup performances picked by Chappell, a daily news roundup hosted by Indian cricket journalist Harsha Bhogle and ‘On The Road With Zaltzman’, where British comedian Andy Zaltzman presents a daily travelogue from the host cities.