When you think of sports in India, which is the first sport that comes to your mind? It is cricket, isn’t it? Even though hockey is India’s national sport, it is cricket that commands the maximum fan following in the country. Over recent years, even though there has been a significant rise in the popularity of other sports such as football, tennis, basketball, badminton and even golf, cricket’s rank as the top sport in terms of overall appeal has remained undiminished. In fact, for a lot of Indians, cricket is larger than life itself. Some cricket fans view the sport as nothing less than a religion, with their favourite cricketers being nothing short of idols who are revered for the sheer prowess they display on the pitch.
The reasons for cricket’s popularity are several. This article in The Cricket Paper lists out a few of the main contributors to the ever-increasing growth of the sport in India. Cricket is a very easy to play and versatile game, so much so that ‘gully cricket’ – essentially street cricket – is played widely across Indian towns, cities and villages. This is because playing a game of cricket does not require much space, and can be played just about anywhere. In the course of the past few decades, the performance of the Indian national team in tournaments has been particularly noteworthy. Spectacular victories that have often been regarded as heroic have only served to earn the players – and in turn, the sport – more and more fans.
More recently, the launch of the Indian Premier League has helped to make the sport accessible and appreciable to a larger audience. Needless to say, the rise of cricketing legends such as Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni has also made cricket – and the cricketers themselves – a topic for discussion in any social setting.
One of the most noticeable recent developments of the tremendous cricket craze in India is the increasing popularity of fantasy cricket. Even though fantasy sports as a genre has been in existence for a long time, fantasy cricket has seen unprecedented growth in recent years.
Fantasy cricket, in short, is basically an online virtual version of cricket that is played through an app. Playing on a fantasy cricket league app is extremely simple. All one needs to do is create a virtual cricket team composed of real players for an upcoming game. Points are then earned by users on the basis of how these selected players perform on the actual match day.
Not surprisingly, the gaming industry is burgeoning in India, and as a result, fantasy sports are becoming more and more prominent. According to the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) it was estimated that more than 100 million gamers would be engaged in fantasy sports by 2020. The demand for fantasy games is only expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, estimated to be worth more than $5 billion by 2021.
KPMG conducted a survey in January 2020 and the findings were astounding. It was seen that 77% of the respondents who played fantasy sports in the last one year participated in fantasy cricket contests while fantasy football and fantasy kabaddi ranked second and third, respectively, with 47% and 9% of the respondents surveyed.
With more and more Indians taking to playing cricket on their mobile phones, fantasy cricket has flourished. In fact, fantasy cricket has even opened up opportunities for people to earn money by playing cricket online. It should be noted that fantasy cricket is not a game of chance, but one of skill. Playing fantasy cricket – and winning – does indeed require in-depth knowledge of the game as well as intelligence with regard to team selection.
That being said, while fantasy cricket may be immensely entertaining and creative in its own way, it is far more than just fun and games. In order to earn the most points and win, users need to estimate and assess the players they select for their dream team.
To be a pro at fantasy cricket requires not just passion and enthusiasm, but a tremendous amount of preparation in the form of research, review and analysis. This includes player form, their performance in recent matches, weather reports, pitch conditions as well as any other pieces of information that are essential in the process of forming a team that can get the job done.
In other words, winning in fantasy cricket depends on the gamer’s cricketing knowledge and ability to predict player performance that directly influence the amount of points they earn.
It can be safely said that the soaring popularity of fantasy cricket in India can be attributed to the rapid advancement of technology and the deep penetration of internet services in even the most far flung parts of the country, as well as the relatively recent revolution in telecommunications that was brought about by Reliance Jio in their endeavour to make mobile phones and internet truly accessible to the masses.
But will fantasy cricket be able retain its top spot as the most popular fantasy sport in India? As of now, it is hard to say for sure. India has always been a cricket crazy country and fans obsess over this sport more than any other. The traditional formats of cricket, namely Test matches and One Day Internationals receive an extensively large viewership, and this was only enhanced when the Indian Premier League was launched in 2008, making the T20 format of the game popular among the larger public.
Nowadays, it is not just cricketers, but celebrities and brands who endorse fantasy cricket platforms, and this has facilitated sponsorships for these platforms, in turn helping them make this genre of games more accessible to the wider public. If you are eager to embark on your journey as the manager of a highly successful fantasy cricket team, click on the link to get started – MPL