The concept of fantasy cricket is relatively new, but it has caught on, especially among the youth, like wildfire. While cricket dates way back to the 1500s, fantasy cricket has been around only since the start of the decade, and has grown in stature in the last few years. This form of virtual cricket game involves strategizing and planning as users select 11 players from an upcoming match to select their “dream team”.
The 11 cricketers selected are a good mix of wicket-keepers, batters, all-rounders and bowlers, and the points that you will earn will depend on how the selected cricketers fare in the actual game. Every wicket taken, every run scored, every duck, every six conceded, every catch taken or every stumping affected by the real-life players plays a part in how your team will end up in the leaderboard.
But, why is fantasy cricket good for the game and how is it changing the way cricket is viewed in the generation?
Makes cricket more exciting
Most will agree that not every cricket game that happens around the world is of great interest. Other than when the top teams play, not many will tune in to watch cricket day-in-and-day-out. As a result, most local teams from around the world hardly have a following, but all that is changing courtesy fantasy cricket. Fans are digging up statistics on unknown players, and are heavily invested in matches from across the globe. This not only gives the cricketers who are playing traction, but helps them get noticed if they are consistent irrespective of pitch conditions or opponent.
Also, fantasy cricket allows the fans to have an interest in every ball that is bowled during a match. A maiden over might not be enthralling to a viewer, but a fantasy player will remain elated if the bowler is in his team, as they will fetch points for a maiden over.
Increases the viewership of games across the globe
Fantasy cricket has been helping fans stay connected with the game more, which is invariably helping in the sports consumption. As fantasy sports users are heavily invested in their teams, they not only keep track of matches – even the low-key ones – but like exploring newer sports too. The more sports a fan watches, the more will they engage and play fantasy. The more teams they make in fantasy cricket, the more hours they will spend watching sports.
According to a study in “Fantasy Sports – Measuring its impact on actual sports consumption, FIFS and Neilsen”, around 37% of the fantasy sports users watch at least six to eight hours of real-life sports per week to stay updated with the match conditions and the performance of players from across the world.
The study also added that 62% of the fans watch various tournaments even if their favourite club or country is not taking the field.
Gets youngsters involved
While Test cricket, despite it being the holy grail of the sport, has been termed as “boring”, ODIs too are slowly paving the way for T20 and T10 matches. Even as investors and administrators are desperately keeping up the tradition of the five-day and 50-over matches, younger fans can ill afford to spend hours glued to a game.
However, fantasy cricket is slowly changing the trend. Not only are the fans of this era taking a keen interest in the game, they are also engaging more. By making teams of various fantasy apps and keeping track of the players, youngsters are slowly catching on to the beauty of cricket.