What is Fantasy Cricket?
Fantasy Cricket is a genre of Fantasy Sports, an online game that has been very famous among the sports fans over the years. Fantasy Cricket, much like the other genres of Fantasy Sports had been growing widely among the fans of Cricket all over the world as it gives an opportunity to the fans to act as managers or owners of their own teams and battle against other people with their team based on the live matches.
How to play Fantasy Cricket?
Fantasy Cricket is a platform available online where any player can play virtually by making a team of real players. The play is rewarded the points based on the performance of their fantasy cricket players when the cricket match starts in real-time. The player with more points than the other is declared the winner.
The crucial part of fantasy cricket is how smartly you can choose the team. You have to pick up a squad of 11 players from both the teams. Most of the time, players select all rounders and wicket keepers as they are on everyone’s priority list as they can earn the most points. Users keep in mind the performance of players before selecting the team because they can not change after the match has started. Users can also earn money through fantasy cricket.
Mohammed Shami- Who is he really?
Mohammed Shami is a professional cricket player that plays International Cricket for the Indian National Cricket Team. Born with natural ball swinging, a specialist in reverse swinging and incredible seaming ability, Shami is a right arm fast bowler who is widely considered as one of the best bowlers in the world right now and one of the fastest bowlers in Indian Cricket History. He also plays for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Shami is known for consistently bowling around the 140 to 145 km/h (87 to 90 mph) mark, and swinging and seaming the ball with remarkable pace bowling. His unique ability to swing (even reverse swinging) makes him a deceptively potent fast bowler and also the best in the business. Shami is unique as he is able to combine his swing bowling with hit-the-deck-hard bowling which adds to the problems of a batsman facing him. Though Shami doesn’t swing the ball immensely, he gets it to shape away in the air, and most importantly, off the surface.
He made his international cricket debut with the Indian National Cricket Team on 6 January 2013 in an ODI cricket match against the Pakistan National Cricket Team in what was also his ODI (One Day International debut). The same year, late in 2013, on 21 November, Shami also made his International Test Cricket debut against the West Indies National Cricket Team. A few months later, on 21 March 2014, he also made his debut in the T20I (T20 International) against Pakistan. Currently playing for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Shami was signed by the Delhi Daredevils in 2014 and made his IPL debut during that season.
The Rising Young Talent from Amroha
Born in a small village Sahaspur in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh to a farmer, Shami’s bowling ability first came into notice by his father who was also a fast bowler in his childhood days but could not make it to the professional level. Being a follower and a student of the game, Shami’s father knew his son had a special talent in fast bowling and he did not waste any time in helping his son achieve not only his son’s dreams but also his own dreams by taking Shami to a well known cricket coach Badruddin Siddique from Moradabad that was 22 km away from their village.
Badruddin Siddique was impressed as soon as he saw Shami bowl. Siddique thought the 15-year-old Shami was not ordinary and started training Shami on his own. Siddique noted that Shami was a very hard working individual who never took a day off, was very disciplined, cooperative, regular and hence consistent with his deliveries.
Siddique saw in Shami a star that could one day play for the Uttar Pradesh Under 19 team and wanted to prepare him for the Uttar Pradesh trials. However, due to internal politics, even though Shami bowled really well in the trials, he was left out of the final squad, not selected. Siddique knew Shami was a very rare talent and that wasting time, waiting for him to get selected in the UP trials next year was not the right option. Hence, Siddique convinced Shami and his parents to send him to Kolkata where he would get more fair opportunities to make it to the team.
Shami started playing for the Dalhousie Athletic Club. While he was playing for this club, he was noticed by Debabrata Das, a former assistant secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal, who was impressed with Shami’s bowling and took him into his team, Town Club, and gave Shami a contract of around Rs 75,000. Since Shami had no place to stay in Kolkata because of financial issues, Das took Shami to his own residence.
Shami bowled really well for the Town Club, however, could not get selected for the Bengal Under-22 team at first. But Das could not let this opportunity slip away from Shami who had come all the way from a small village in Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata just to chase his dreams. Therefore, Das approached one of the selectors, Samarban Banerjee, and asked him to watch Shami’s bowling. Banerjee was very impressed and surprised with the 15-year-old’s bowling and decided to select Shami for the Bengal Under-22 team.
Debabrata Das was very impressed with Shami as Shami never really cared about being famous or having a lot of money and living the celebrity life, instead, he was more focused on his game. Shami loved taking wickets more than anything else, he loved the sound of the ball hitting the stumps and the wickets falling along with the stumps. That was all he cared about and that became an integral factor to his success. Das then sent Shami to the Mohun Bagan Club in order for Shami to get selected for the Bengal Team. That became the turning point in Shami’s youth career as he got the chance to bowl to the legendary Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly at the nets of the Eden Gardens. Ganguly was very impressed with Shami’s bowling ability and knew he was going to have a very bright future. This led to Ganguly suggesting the selectors to keep an eye on Shami and take special care of him. In the end, Shami successfully made it to the Ranji team of Bengal in 2010.
First Class Cricket Career
In 2010, Mohammed Shami played his first class match and it was against Assam. He picked up three wickets on his debut in what was an amazing bowling performance.
After some splendid performances in the domestic season, he was selected for the West Indies-bound India A squad in 2012. He even shared a partnership of 73 runs for the 10th wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara that won them the match during India A’s unofficial Test match against the West Indies A in June 2012.
During the 2013 Ranji Trophy, he took 4/36 and 6/71 and scored 15* from 6 balls in the second innings to help his side win the match by 4 wickets, along with Wriddhiman Saha in a match against Hyderabad on the green at Eden Gardens. He also took 7 wickets for 79 runs and 4 wickets for 72 runs against Madhya Pradesh at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, but in spite of that, his side lost the match by 138 runs. He also took a hat-trick in the first innings to wipe out the tail.
International Cricket Career
After a successful domestic career, it was perhaps about time that Shami played for the Indian National Cricket Team. His dream of playing for his country finally came true when he was called up in 2012 for an ODI cricket series which was going to take place in 2013 against rivals Pakistan. Shami was going to replace his Bengal teammate Ashok Dinda. He made his debut on 6 January, 2013 against Pakistan in the third ODI match in Delhi and managed to take a wicket in a winning battle.
The same year, late in 2013, on 21 November, Shami also made his International Test Cricket debut against the West Indies National Cricket Team. His debut match took place at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the cricket ground where he had spent most of the better part of his career, training. There, he took his first Test wicket which was of Kieran Powell finishing with 4 wickets off 71 runs in the first innings of the Test match and 5 wickets off 47 runs in the second innings. He had a dream debut, taking 9 wickets for 118 runs which was the most by an Indian in terms of pace bowling on debut, surpassing Munaf Patel’s 7 wickets for 97 runs in Mohali in 2006.
The following year Shami also played in his first Twenty20 International Match against the rivals, Pakistan, on 21 March 2014 in the opening game of the World T20 and managed to take the wicket of Umar Akmal. He only played three matches in the tournament and had to drop from the rest. He was selected for the 2014 tour of England, after the Test series, in July. He finished the series with 3 wickets and conceding 38 runs.
World Cup Performances
Shami was selected for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand and at that point, it had somewhat become obvious that he would be in the playing XI as he was the fastest bowler in the squad who had proved himself in big matches against big teams. In India’s first match of the World Cup, which was against the rivals Pakistan, Shami once again proved his worth by taking 4 wickets for 35 runs and helped his country win the match. He continued his excellent form against South Africa and West Indies as India won against both of them and was even awarded the Man of The Match award for his performance against West Indies. Even though India went on to lose in the semi finals against Australia, Shami put on a wonderful individual performance throughout the world cup and was named in the team of the tournament and subsequently in the ICC World ODI XI for 2015.
Shami was named in India’s squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and went on to become only the second player in the history of Indian Cricket to take a World Cup hat trick in his haul against Afghanistan and also became one of only nine players to have ever taken a hat trick in the history of Cricket World Cup. Against England, Shami took 5 wickets for 69 runs and won the match for India. However, India was very unlucky because of rain as they went on to lose in the semi final against New Zealand.
Indian Premier League
Shami was signed for the 2014 IPL season by Delhi Daredevils, however, he was not given a lot of opportunities to play under the management of Gary Kirsten in what was a very poor season for the Delhi Daredevils. He was retained for the 2015 season by the Delhi Daredevils in which he bowled really well but failed to take his team to the playoffs.
In 2018, he was bought again by Delhi Daredevils, however, his 5 year association with Delhi ended as the franchise decided to release him due to his inconsistency majorly because of the injuries he faced over those 5 years. The next season, he was bought by the Kings XI Punjab for Rs 4.8 crores and was the highest wicket-taker of the team in 2019 which has possibly given him a lot of confidence going into IPL 2020.