Why Fantasy Cricket Is Great For The Sport
Fantasy cricket is a new concept within the context of the sport. With the sport’s origins dating back to 1598 (at the earliest), fantasy cricket has been around for barely one one-hundredth of that. Still, as the world of any sport tends to evolve through the technological progression of a society, it seemed inevitable that some form of an online game would derive around cricket.
Is this a good thing? Absolutely. Fantasy cricket can be excellent for not only county cricket, but the game in general — and here’s why.
What is fantasy cricket?
Fantasy cricket is a game that gives players the power to select their “dream team.” How it works is by selecting a team of (usually, 11) players, which include a mixture of fielders, batsman, bowlers and all-rounders from all different sides. Different game variations have different rules, but this concept holds across most cricket game modes. From Twenty20 to International Tests, more than likely, you can find a fantasy game for most cricket matches at the professional level. The points are then won and lost based on performance. The number of runs and wickets, run rate, catches, stumps and ducks and runs conceded all affect the number of points each player receives in a match. These points are accumulated over the season or a specific predetermined period, and the player’s team with the most points by the end of it all is victorious.
That allows for the creation of leagues among players. Usually, a player’s team enters in the main, major league consisting of every team created. The winner (or winners) of which can often win cash prizes.
Fantasy Football Similarities
Other sports have similar concepts on the go, with football setting a precedent for these types of fantasy-pick games in the U.K., with millions of playing the hugely popular fantasy football each season. It blew up a few years ago, and since then has become a permanent fixture on any die-hard fan’s calendar.
It appeals on two levels. The first is picking a team. For most, this is the big thrill of the game. Selecting your squad, attempting to have the best team from the resources provided — sometimes an allocated amount of money where players are priced based on quality and sometimes a specific number of points where players are priced on the same basis. Selecting the best team and then comparing them with friends’ or colleagues’ teams by pitting them against one another to see which performs best is all part of the appeal.
The second aspect to it is managing the team throughout the season or selected period. The joy comes from watching players that you selected to perform well in matches, as that results in points earned for the fantasy team. However, there’s that additional management needed where players can tweak their teams by substituting players in and out of their side if they’re not performing well and picking up points.
Both concepts are key and present for football and cricket fantasy games, and they’re the fundamentals that make this genre of game so appealing to sports fans.
Why is fantasy cricket good for the sport?
So, fantasy football is hugely popular, and we’ve established that fantasy cricket draws many similarities to it and is relatively popular as well, but why is that relevant? Well, it comes down to the fact that fantasy cricket games are more beneficial for the sport.
Firstly, I think it’s safe to say that cricket does not always provide enthralling entertainment during every single over bowled. However, with fantasy cricket, it entices fans and gives them an interest in every ball. A maiden over may seem uneventful, but that is music to the ears to someone who has the bowler in their team, as they will score points for that.
It also encourages an increase in viewership for more games. If 80 percent of fans rarely watch any cricket match other than those involving their team, fantasy cricket gives them an invested interest in other games involving the players in their team. It provides an additional incentive other than to watch the great game of cricket to watch a match.
Furthermore, it targets another generation of fans. Due to its tradition, cricket has a lot of older fans. The younger generation is more often exposed to sports like football than cricket, yet fantasy cricket offers more engagement for those younger fans who may be more likely to stumble upon the sport while browsing online, as opposed to discovering the sport in person.
Ultimately, there isn’t any downside to fantasy cricket. It offers another channel for the game of cricket to reach potential fans and players, and naturally, that’s a great thing.