There is a lot of debate going on as to determine which is the better option, fantasy or regular cricket. In reality, both are entirely different markets, even though the results in both cases are derived from the underlying performance of teams and players in actual matches. The money-making potential and the skills vary, which makes it difficult to choose a winner among the two. Fantasy cricket in India has only recently gained popularity, while the traditional version has been a constituent of the industry for many years.
Fantasy cricket has been seeing a tremendous upward rise in popularity in recent years, especially since the introduction of IPL in the cricketing world. Traditionally, fantasy sports were dominant in the American and European markets, with cricket rarely having any exposure among players. Fantasy sport is considered to be a skill game, which helped the industry to gain traction in various American and European sports markets along with sports betting. However, cricket fans in India rarely had the opportunity to create their own teams or take part in fantasy leagues to compete against other players across the globe.
With the innovative changes in technologies and the proliferation of the Internet among Indian fans, several fantasy cricket sites in India have started to crop up to provide leagues and games to the cricket’s largest fan base. Fantasy cricket is now right up there with some of the most popular games in the industry and is now considered to be at par with sports betting.
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What Is Fantasy Cricket?
For those who are not familiar with the concept, this is a form of fantasy sport, where players create virtual teams in order to take part in a league or individual games and compete against other players. In simple terms, teams generate points according to the actual real-time performance of the athletes in the matches. Unlike cricket betting, fantasy cricket does not require anyone to pick a static team from the pool or a particular wager, as they are free to pick any athlete from any team as they desire, and come up with a team of 11 players and three substitutes.
Once the match commences, the actual team lines-up and live performance of the athletes are reflected on the virtual team, and points are awarded according to the team composition, team/individual performance, and other factors. The primary aim of a team owner is to accumulate the most points at the end of a match.
Therefore, by picking the top-performing athletes in a match, the team will be able to score the maximum number of points in a game, which in turn adds up to create a ranking table in a league leaderboard. Over time, the outcome of matches adds points to the team table, and the player that has accumulated the most points in their league through their team wins the top prize.
Players are not compelled to choose a team in any particular order, but there are several restrictions to keep the playing field level. For instance, not all athletes have the same value in terms of performance and costs, and each team has to pick athletes and create a team within a given budget. The cost cap certainly enables cricket leagues to operate in a fair manner, without giving undue advantages to any particular fantasy league player. The cost cap and other participation requirements may vary according to a specific league, where failure to adhere to the rules can often end in disqualification.
The concept of budgets and cost caps means there is more of a technical skill aspect to fantasy cricket, as players have to juggle between top-value athletes, their performance, and their overall team budget. Sometimes, low-value athletes can often outshine other high-ranking athletes, which gives a tremendous return on investment, enabling the fantasy cricket team owners to spend less and earn more points.
Games and Tournaments Covered in Fantasy Cricket
Fantasy cricket is available for almost all formats of the game, including ODI, Test, and T20. Some fantasy cricket sites in India may offer division and first class options, which not only include games from India, but also from all over the world. While players have excellent opportunities to pick their winning teams in several different categories and tournaments, the IPL fantasy cricket tournaments seem to be the most favorite league at the moment.
Sometimes, fantasy sports sites also offer other major T20 leagues such as the Big Bash League, but all these major leagues are only available for a single season every year. Another popular game includes the Fantasy Cricket World Cup, which sees heavy volumes and participation from high-profile players, owing to the global nature of the tournament. Obviously, this event is only scheduled once every four years, while the T20 World Cup is scheduled once every two years.
If you are searching for a dose of daily fantasy cricket, you will have to be a bit more elaborate in your knowledge of the game. Due to the nature of the schedule in the cricketing world, it is next to impossible to play fantasy cricket for high-profile games on a daily basis. Therefore, by expanding your horizon to include minor leagues, you can take part in daily game fixtures and compete against the best in the market.
What Are the Payouts and Returns?
The prize for winning a fantasy cricket league can depend on the league itself, the reputation of the organizers, and other factors such as the strength of the league and the contribution from players. Sometimes, leagues offer excellent prize money, while others offer gifts, certificates, and other types of memorabilia. At times, they may not provide a payout at all, as winning the league may be all about the pride and social status quo.
Since it does not offer any concrete monetary promise, aside from high-profile games, it may be less attractive than the corresponding cricket betting industry. In cricket betting, players can gamble on several possible wagers, and they can either win their money according to the odds or lose the money wagered.
The effect of luck is more pronounced in cricket betting when compared to the fantasy sport, which makes betting more exciting and unpredictable. Even in the case of payouts, fantasy cricket only offers the best returns to the top team owners in the table, while other players will have to leave empty-handed. As far as risk is concerned, fantasy cricket allows for more statistical analysis and informed thought process, making it more favorable.
Can You Play Fantasy Cricket in India Legally?
The confusion surrounding the legality of cricket betting has certainly forced players into considering the legitimacy of the industry in India. However, we would like to inform our players that fantasy cricket is a legal activity in India and is not frowned upon like cricket betting. Since fantasy sports involve a considerable amount of skill, even countries such as the US have approved them as a skill game. Even the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has an IPL related league that allows players to join and create their dream team during the IPL season.
Being a legal and highly exciting alternative to other forms of gambling, fantasy sports provide an opportunity for the player to go beyond the confines of enjoying a game in comfort. Fantasy cricket leagues are the best possible avenues for cricketing fans to have a different outlet, one that is inherently different from the live matches being played on a ground. Fantasy cricket allows players to be an expert in their field, and the satisfaction of being right in your choices can far exceed the thrills of seeing your favorite players scoring big or your team winning the match.
What Is the Cost of Participating in a Tournament?
There are different types of fantasy cricket leagues in India, and several service providers offer various options for players according to their requirements. There are primarily two distinct fantasy cricket sites in India, one that is free of cost, while the other requires an upfront payment to play through a premium platform. Free tournaments are typically hosted by individuals or companies that concentrate on generating advertising revenue through their website. Sometimes, sports broadcasters and corporate organizations also create free-to-play fantasy cricket leagues, which may or may not result in prizes for the winners and top performers.
Paid leagues are often hosted by third-party companies that require a subscription fee to enter the league. Upon successful admission, players can either proceed to create their own team according to the basic rules and regulations or upgrade to premium services that offer more freedom in the team selection processes and lesser rules. Sometimes, premium fantasy cricket leagues may also enable players to increase their budget caps by buying more credits, which can often result in an unfair gaming environment. Regardless, fantasy cricket leagues are meant for fun, and it is easy to find a tournament that suits your needs.
How Can You Take Part in a Fantasy Cricket League?
There are plenty of fantasy cricket websites in India and independent leagues that offer a platform to test your skills. If you are new to the world of fantasy cricket or fantasy sports in general, you should try out some of the free or less-expensive options in the market. It is important to be comfortable and learn all the different aspects of the game, as it is one of the very few that involves skills and experience.
If you are looking for premium options, we can recommend some top-quality leagues and tournaments in India or abroad, all of which are excellent for showcasing your skills. You can easily open an account and sign up for a league by providing some basic information. Unlike betting operators and online cricket bookmakers, you usually don’t have to send in any verification documents, unless you are withdrawing a huge payout. Players can either choose to remain anonymous in their leagues or provide their full information, as it is up to the player to safeguard or reveal their identity to the general public.
Fantasy cricket is a social sport, as it involves players or groups pitting against one another. Therefore, there is a higher level of interaction, commitment, and social importance to fantasy sports. Although players are not expected to interact with other players, you should have a more open approach towards the games in general. Fantasy tournament organizers will often moderate and supervise the activities and conversations of players on the official forum, but it is essential for players to avoid taking it personally if an individual or a group of players turn against them. Most leagues take steps to avoid such instances, but it is not possible to eradicate them entirely.
Which Is Better? Playing Fantasy Cricket or Cricket Betting?
As we have mentioned earlier in this article, it is not possible to pick one category over the other. It certainly depends on the risk appetite of a player and the overall fun factor, which can vary according to the individual. Some players are more excited by the prospect of winning money, which may require them to use the cricket betting platform, while others may only be looking to use their skills and knowledge to compete against other players in the world.
Fantasy cricket is certainly a means to showcase the decision-making skills of an individual and is more suited to someone with a strong analytical mind. Of course, some players use both markets to have great fun, while accumulating the points with their favorite team. Ultimately, experiment with what you prefer and choose a market that you are most comfortable with.