New found love for Fantasy Cricket

I’ve always hated cricket. No seriously – I lost matches and had such a poor experience playing cricket that I genuinely hated cricket all through school and college. However I could never understand the passion when people watch a match, or play a match themselves… So I thought I should at least make an honest effort to figure this out. I mean cricket IS the most popular game in India after all 🙂

The game itself is no biggie – standard 11 players per team, little leagues, big leagues, ODIs and Tests and so much more… But that’s the usual stuff. What really grabbed me was the Fantasy Cricket thing. It sounded like betting, and it sounded like gambling – but as I dug deeper I found that, per a court directive, cricket betting requires such great skill in selection of players that it’s actually qualified as a game of skill!

The annual market for cricket betting is estimated as USD 11 billion across the globe. This is from relatively recent news mentions on this topic (and the fact remains that some part of this is not conducted legally so I’ll just leave that piece out). The clean income from fantasy cricket is expected to exceed USD 2 billion this year. I wanted to get into the game and make my own millions (maybe not billions; but 1/1000th of that is still pretty good right?) so I started researching this angle.

What I found is this:

  • A fantasy cricket user chooses their 11 players from the squad for a given match.
  • When the real live game commences, your game is on the move as well.
  • For each run scored, wicket taken, the players you’ve chosen will earn you points!
  • Now obviously you need a serious level of skill to recognize which player will do well; thus you’re not betting on the game; you’re counting on your own incredible cricket skill.
  • Finally when all the points are pulled together, you may win various prizes based on the outcome
  • People earn as much as 7000-13000 from a single game!!

BUT – the website that runs the fantasy cricket tournament earns even more. So I got to thinking, maybe I need to create a “fantasy cricket” website instead. Now my programming skill may not be enough; but I’ve learned a lot about the fantasy cricket api and data sources in the process:

  • Cricinfo and the other sites are quite useless – I can get some data from them but I never get accurate player-wise scoring data to use for my game.
  • There are API providers who can be very expensive when it comes to fantasy API
  • The best API I could get at a really cheap rate (and 1000 hits free on signup) was the one from – and I was instantly a fan of their really cool Fantasy API! Which is why I’m endorsing them here.
  • You need to be careful how often you want to get the API data; manage expectations upfront. Tell users they will get their score updates every 10 minutes or whatever – don’t overload your servers to give a second-to-second update.
  • Once your have your data, you want to calculate the outcome of each match and store it in a database
  • Then when the match is over, or preferably the day AFTER the match is over, compare the data in your database and announce the winners!

So this is a bit of simple math. If I take Rs 100 from each player for a reward of Rs 2000 to the winner, and I get 30 people to play the fantasy cricket (which is easy enough for me to get) – I get to keep a cool Rs 1000 per match. Now that’s good money specially during the major tournaments! Also based on the logic I make I can calculate winners for each Innings of the match, and maybe make even more moolah.

Naturally I’m looking for great people who can help me program this and share the profits; but mainly I’m putting this up because I feel it’s a great way to earn, and it’s totally non-competitive. You can run it in your local clubs etc which will never impact me negatively; I may run it in my friends circle which will never impact you negatively. It’s a win-win-win!!

If you’re a great coder who wants to work with me on this contact me on – but if you’re trying to make your own fantasy site you can drop me a line as well and I’ll try to help you out where I can.