The much-awaited ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is soon to prevail over the world of sports. However, for cricket enthusiasts, the sporting spirit is already running high. IPL 2019, which commenced on 23rd March and scheduled to run till 12th May, has been keeping the spectators at the edge of their seats. If that was not all, fans now have yet another platform that provides them with all the thrill, trepidation, and emotional outbursts associated with an intense game of cricket- fantasy cricket.
Fantasy cricket league
The rising popularity and mesmerising gameplay of IPL have given rise to a penchant for cricket lovers to get involved with the game. There are also those people who are bogged down by professional pressure to enjoy a game of cricket. For both, there is Fantasy cricket league, offered by online cricket websites like My11Circle. These websites also provide online apps where players can enjoy an intense game of cricket of their own choosing.
The gameplay involves cricket matches that one can play in the comfort of their mobile device. The idea behind them is 'why should the excitement end with the World Cup?' Players are given a stimulating environment where they can showcase their knowledge of the sport. The app targets fans who check on today's match predictions while going to the office, or catch up on game highlights in the midst of taking a break or waiting for a meeting. In fact, fantasy cricket apps saw a rise in popularity during peak match seasons. Since this format of cricket lets players control every aspect of the game- from choosing players to calling the shots- cricket enthusiasts took to the online app in a bid to keep the excitement alive.
How do they play out
To play the game on one's mobile, one needs to join a fantasy cricket league. There are daily fantasy leagues played out in different online apps. The player is required to join a particular match and pick a team of 11 players. Needless to say, the team would comprise of bowlers, batsmen, wicket-keepers as well as all-rounder players. One also needs to select the vice-captain and the captain of their team.
Players can select from an option of around 25 to 30 of them and make an 11-player team. The in-game virtual players are all modelled after the names of real cricket players. Thus, one needs to select players carefully, since it provides the team with an opportunity to accumulate points even before the start of the game. This is based on the performance of each of the 11 players in a real match. This means players need to stay updated about the performance of the other players in previous matches, similar to a cricket match in reality. Points, here, are allotted on the basis of wickets taken, runs scored, and catches made. This really puts the players in the driver's seat. One gets to control everything about a particular game, right from league selection and player selection to shot selection. Players can pick from different cricket formats or let the individual players select the format they love. The moot point is thoroughly enjoying a game of cricket right on one's mobile device. Players can pick their dream game and team for free. One can also go for paid games to take it up a notch. Needless to say, paid games are designed to offer more versatility and are more interesting and rewarding.
Selecting one's own cricket team and then seeing them win matches is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. While watching a match, many individuals get into the essence of the game, commenting through the entirety of the match. Now, gamers can select shots that their favourite player should play and choose the run-up of their favourite bowler. It is an ideal game where one can enjoy the thrill of real cricket and also decide the outcome of a game.
While IPL's viewership in television has grown by 21% and in online streaming sites by 32% over 2018, the popularity of fantasy cricket league may even give the IPL organisers a run for their money.
Fantasy cricket witnessed an insane rise in popularity in 2017 and 2018. In fact, the craze is so huge that the number of online apps offering fantasy cricket leagues almost doubled in the past few years. There are estimates which suggest that the number of people playing fantasy cricket has grown from a mere 2000 to more than 40 million, and that too in just two years!
What doesn't come as a surprise is that the craze for playing fantasy cricket reached an all-time high during the IPL season. This not only points out the popularity of this format of virtual cricket but also its appeal over IPL and real cricket. With over 12 billion people, most of whom are die-hard fans of cricket, India may well be standing at the cusp of a revolution where fantasy cricket might surpass the popularity of real cricket even.