The ins and outs of Fantasy Cricket

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The ins and outs of Fantasy Cricket

Our special guest this week is Gaurav Sundararaman, a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo, and he helps us unpack the complexities of Fantasy Cricket – where fans pick teams and compete in increasingly popular Fantasy Leagues.

Talking Points:

  • The allure of fantasy cricket and how it changes one’s perspective
  • ESPN Super Selector and the early days of fantasy cricket
  • The popularity of fantasy leagues in the T20 era
  • Picking a team and the dangers of biased selections
  • Tournament mode v daily mode
  • Rajat Bhatia, Sreenath Arvind and the value of unheralded stars
  • Chris Gayle, David Warner, ABd – the must-haves
  • Rajat Bhatia, Arvind Sreenath, Amit Mishra – the bankable players
  • The moment when Fantasy Cricket creators asked – ‘Who is Jasprit Bumrah’
  • Automated substitutions, dynamic pricing and the next steps in fantasy cricket


Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) (All ESPNcricinfo articles by Gaurav)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Ashoka (@ABVan)


Dueling with Kings – Daniel Barbarasi on Fantasy Sports –

How to boss fantasy cricket – ESPNcricinfo – Part 1, Part 2

Five important tips for Fantasy players – Joy Bhattacharjya –

A $150bn market: How fantasy sports transformed cricket fans from being spectators to stakeholders – Rohan Abraham – Economic Times

Has Fantasy Sports got the right direction in India? – Somesh Chandran –

The allure of fantasy cricket and why it should bother us – Tony Kuriehon – Newsminute

That special whistle: the phenomenon called CSK – 81allout podcast

Cricket 2.0: Inside the T20 Revolution – Tim Wigmore and Freddie Wilde –


Lead image from here.

3 thoughts on “The ins and outs of Fantasy Cricket”

  1. A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this episode, which I probably missed somehow. And it was a freewheeling chat – it seemed you guys didn’t realize when someone pressed the Record button. 😀

    For starters, I wasn’t aware the Season/Tournament mode is still working. The Daily mode was still happening but Dream XI changed everything. And after that, I feel people started realizing that the season mode is a lot taxing.

    But I remember playing Fandromeda season mode, and it had a unique feature, which perhaps ABVan forgot to mention. You could replace an uncapped player with another uncapped player and it didn’t count as an actual substitution. And “can keep”, “can bowl” was a brilliant concept.

    Like everyone else, I started fantasy leagues with Super Selector, in which your team was applicable for a week, and the substitutions reflected from next week. I have a bittersweet story (bitter first, sweet later).

    We were 4-5 classmates who used to go to a cyber cafe together after the classes ended, which was apparently near a classmate’s home. We started noticing that our teams were getting replaced by some random players (except that friend, which we found when we joined dots later).

    After few days, I noticed one batsman in my team was replaced by Nathan Astle, and again we were shocked. We also checked with the cyber cafe person, but he had no clue. And then Astle played ‘that’ innings.

    One more story about a colleague who was also my cabmate. He used to play Dream 11 in every possible league and sport. He and his group of friends had got some service who used to send them the recommendations – on a nominal fee. And he used to benefit from that. He said so many things about Paddikal that I watched 2020 IPL only because of him (colleague). But he has a quirk – he plays fantasy leagues only in franchise leagues and not in matches involving India. He says that takes away the fun in watching matches.

    1. Hi Vivek,

      Ha! Everyone who’s played fantasy cricket has a “one innings they missed” scar deeply embedded in their psyche.

  2. And btw, about the point that was discussed how one has to watch a match to see how the standings go up and down. I remember once in Super Selector, they had some difficulty deciding the first winner because apparently the batsman hit a four when they needed one run to win (or may be there is something I’m forgetting). So they referred to some MCC level rule books. I don’t remember exactly what was the inference, but this is the match in question:

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