Fantasy cricket is on the rise! Over the course of just a few short years, fantasy cricket has turned into a massive market thanks to Dream11. Established in 2012, the site caters to 15 million cricket fans. Just to put that in perspective: that is the same amount as FanDuel and DraftKings combined.
Anyone who has gotten a glimpse of what cricket fanhood is about, the plain madness and enthusiasm, knows it’s a religion. A country like India, with 1.3 billion people, has all the potential to become a fantastic international fantasy sports market. Although in the US we don’t know much about cricket, fantasy sports have the ability to spark new interest in a sport. It has happened to many sports in the past.
We watch more games thanks to DFS
Fantasy players have admitted that because they play Daily fantasy sports (DFS), they now watch more games on TV. That’s because their money is in it! it makes sense right? There are many fantasy contests you can join for a small entry fee, so it doesn’t have to be a big risk.
To give you an idea of the immensity of the cricket market, about 850 million people watch cricket on TV. Of which a staggering half, plays some sort of online game. It’s predicted that by 2020, there will be 500 million online users, of which 40% play fantasy sports. Cricket is popular in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, South Africa and some countries in the Caribbean and Africa.
Playing cricket in the US
For now, cricket is quite small in the US. I think fantasy sites have been reluctant to pick up on the sport because of a lack of knowledge. However, it’s very likely that his changes soon. In 2018, we could play fantasy tennis for the first time. Although tennis and cricket are in no way comparable in terms of international appeal, it just shows the potential for a new fantasy sport to enter the market successfully. Cricket has a fantastic niche market, also in the US, just considering the simple fact the US has an Indian community of over 2 million people.
Cricket fantasy rules
There isn’t much clarity yet about how playing fantasy cricket works, simply because not many sites offer it yet. However, the point count seems to reflect the rules in real life. A few categories that can score you points is every run scored, catches and caught & bowled. For the exact number of points in each category, check out the site where you’re playing. A site like Dream11 has a clear overview of the points, bonuses and also the minuses.
So Dream11 is one of the largest fantasy sports providers in India. For now, they’re only open to Indian residents. But just looking at the companies growth from a common-sense perspective, I see that changing in the near future. Especially considering the fact that there are many Indians living abroad (over 2 million in the US alone), it makes perfect sense to start expanding. If you want to understand the magnitude of cricket, think of football craze in the US and multiply that by 20. That’s how crazy cricket in India is! Dream11 established in 2012 and from their start to now, they went from 300.000 users to 17 million in 2018. That is incredible.
It’s true that cricket hasn’t exactly reached mainstream status in the US, but in some parts of the world, cricket is much more than just a sport. A religion, an obsession! So let’s see what happens in the next few years.