Preview: India v England T20 Series (and a new fantasy cricket league)

Are you missing your usual fantasy cricket fix? Check out the free-to-enter fantasy cricket league for the three India v England T20s on Fanzoo Sports to play and have the chance to win prizes from Zomato! 

72 days since their first game of cricket in India and after losing both the ODI and the test series, England finally registered a win on the board in the final ODI to salvage some pride. The following statement will therefore come as a bit of a shock: England will fancy their chances in the T20s against India.

Yes, that’s right. Historically India struggled in tests and were dominant at limited overs cricket in the sub-continent, while England was primarily a test-playing nation. The recent story is different. India has grown to be a formidable Test side at home while England (with their batting firepower) are now an excellent T20 side. Having cruised to the World T20 finals less than a year ago, England start the T20 series as favourites.

In recent T20 outings, however, both sides have seen mixed results. India’s second string team scraped through 2-1 against Zimbabwe and lost to the West Indies either side of that series, once in the US and once in the World T20 semi final. England, too, have won just 1 of their last 3 games, beating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in between losing to the Windies in the World T20 final, and to Pakistan by 9 wickets in September.

Ahead of the three match T20 series between India and England that kicks off Thursday, here are 3 things the 1 Tip 1 Hand Team is watching closely: Read More …

Miami T20 weekend: India v West Indies

This Saturday August 27th and Sunday August 28th, Miami in Florida will host two T20 Matches between India and the West Indies. The BCCI has declared it their goal to make this an annual event, which bodes well for expansion of the sport to new countries.

The first ever cricket international was actually played in North America! In 1844, th "British Empire’s Canadian Province" visited New York to face off against the USA side.Canada racked up 82 all out in 32 overs, dismissed the US for 64, built on their lead and proceeded to win the game by 23 runs. How times change; 82 by an entire side was enough to win in 1844; today Chris Gayle could smash 82 off 5 overs all by himself!

So why is it a big deal to be taking T20s to Florida? For starters, cricket could use the globalization. There are 10 Full Member Nations, another 8 Associate Members with T20I Status. None of them are from North America or South America, and only England, Scotland and Ireland hail from Europe. Several of the biggest, more developed sporting nations in the world have close to zero involvement in cricket today; so taking the game to America is a step in the right direction for the future of the game.

However, it might may be too little too late.

Here are 5 reasons the BCCI will have a tough time cracking the American market.

1. It’s an Over-Saturated Sports Market: In order of size, the United States already has 5 major sports leagues:

a. NFL (American Football)

b. MLB (Baseball)

c. NBA (Basketball)

d. NHL (Ice Hockey)

e. MLS (Soccer)

Soccer is the newest entrant, and is growing aggressively behind the might of the European Soccer Leagues. Is there really room in that packed lineup for a 6th major sport like cricket?

2. The weather can be prohibitive: All 5 of the big sports can be played indoors, with limited impact on the game itself. In fact, American Football and Soccer can both be played even in rain or snow. With the east coast in winter for 6 months of the year, can cricket adapt? Playing indoors would change the pitch, impacting swing, bounce, pace of the outfield, and more.

3. Size of the diaspora: Many would argue that the large South Asian population of the US and Canada is enough to give cricket a head-start in that part of the world. There are 3.4 Million South Asians in the US (as of the last census), which is up 81% from the previous one. While in absolute terms that is no small number, it’s still less than 0.2% of South Asia itself. The BCCI might be too used to having hordes of fans around at all times.

4. The USACA has been suspended: The USA Cricket Association was suspended by the ICC in June 2015 for “governance and financial problems”. This also means a freeze on their funding, which has prevented the US from sending their own cricket team to any tournaments. Is there an example of any sport that has mass following in a country which doesn’t even play it?

5. Time Zones: This weekend’s matches begin at 10am Eastern, or 7.30pm IST – the perfect prime time spot for the Indian TV viewing audience. Unfortunately, it’s not ideal for hordes of Americans to wake up hungover early on a Saturday morning and make the trek to a cricket stadium – or skip work if future games are on weekdays. It will always be a balance between TV and live audiences, and given the sheer numbers, I worry TV will always win.

The BCCI and ICC clearly have an uphill battle on their hands, but we are excited to see them trying to spread cricket to North America!

– Ashwin

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Vivo IPL 2016 – The Dream Team 

What an IPL final! Sunrisers Hyderabad were crowned 2016 champions on Sunday and we all woke up on Monday with an IPL-sized hole in our souls.  No more Yes Bankers, no more Freecharge Bolt moments, no more fantasy cricket and no more Danny Morrison abbreviating himself hoarse until next year – some serious IPL withdrawal symptoms have begun to set in!

So to make ourselves feel a little better, we have put together our ultimate dream team from this year’s IPL. We have stuck to the four overseas player limit and have included our best wildcard/uncapped pick as well. SRH (3), RCB (3), KKR (2), GL (2) and MI (1) are represented while no RPS, DD or KXIP player makes the cut.

Read on to find out our dream team. Read More …

IPL Final: Preview and Fantasy Cricket Tips for RCB v SRH

Have you subscribed to our blog yet? To participate in the first ever exclusive (and free to enter) fantasy cricket league for 1 Tip 1 Hand readers for the IPL Final, click here.

59 Matches, 7 Centuries, 13 Four-wicket hauls, 6 weeks and it all comes down to Sunday – RCB v SRH. In a country that spans more than 3 million square kilometres, our two IPL Finalists are cities that are less than 600km apart. Gujarat topped the league table and almost booked their spot in the final twice – each time they were thwarted, first by ABdV (with Abdulla) and then by Warner (with Bipul Sharma). Sunday is really the IPL’s last chance saloon – for either Kohli or Warner to lift the trophy, for Hooda and Baby to prove themselves and for you….to surge ahead and get to the top of the 2016 IPL Fantasy Cricket League!

The Teams: The strongest batting team meets the best bowling line-up. RCB and SRH have been terrific in this year’s IPL. Each Kohli and Warner have each led from the front –  they are this year’s Top 2 run scorers with 919 and 779 runs respectively. The top 3 wicket takers too – each with 20+ scalps – are also from these 2 sides. We are set up for a cracker on Sunday at the Chinnaswamy, the home of 5 individual centuries this season. Both sides will be pleased with themselves – SRH won their qualifier even in Mustafizur’s absence, and RCB won their qualifier even though Kohli had a rare failure.

Which team will win the IPL Final 2016?

  • RCB (67%, 79 Votes)
  • SRH (33%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 118

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The Venue: The Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. The perfect venue for a final, Bangalore’s flat pitches and small boundaries promise a high-scoring final. 8 of the 12 highest scores (all above 189) have come at this ground.

Our picks for your fantasy team – as an IPL Final Special, we have picked 5 players today!

Virat Kohli – Can you blame us for choosing him? Anyone who has voluntarily leaves Virat out will end up regretting it. Barring his rare, unexpected failure in the qualifier, Virat has had the best individual batting season in the history of the IPL. 919 runs at an average above 80 an strike rate above 150, Captain Kohli has led his team to the finals and will be itching to score the 81 runs on Sunday to get him to the magical 1000 runs in one IPL season. Don’t expect him to stop there!

David Warner – Just like his RCB counterpart, Warner has been a real rockstar for Hyderabad – he single-handedly won Qualifier 2 for them despite no other SRH batsman performing on the night. While Warner may have missed out on a century this season, statistics don’t paint the full picture – he has 3 scores of 90+ in winning causes, including 2 not-outs. He will be fired up to deliver on the big stage. Read More …

Fantasy Cricket Tips for the IPL Playoffs Qualifier 2: GL v SRH

Have you subscribed to our blog yet? To participate in the first ever exclusive (and free to enter) fantasy cricket league for 1 Tip 1 Hand readers on IPL Finals day, please subscribe to all our blog updates here.

Qualifier 1 saw a stunning chase by RCB after they had lost 5 wickets for less than 30. The Eliminator was a wonderful exhibition of quality death bowling by SRH to stifle KKR’s chase. Qualifier 2 promises to be a cracker as well – Gujarat Lions v Sunrisers Hyderabad (GL v SRH). Though it’s called a qualifier, this is another knockout game. The winner will go on to face RCB in the IPL finals, while the loser goes home.

The Teams: GL ended the playoff stage at the top of the table, which means that even after their crushing loss to RCB in Qualifier 1, they have a shot at redemption. After setting RCB a target of 159, a brilliant spell from Kulkarni had RCB at 29-5, their worst start all season, but GL was unable to seal a spot in the finals thanks to an ABdV special. Now, Raina and his boys will want to remind the world why GL were the only team with 9 wins in the group stage. SRH on the other hand, crushed a formidable KKR in the Eliminator, thanks to a master class of death bowling by Bhuvi, Henriques, Cutting and ‘The Fizz’. The SRH bowling will be tasked with keeping a formidable GL batting lineup quiet on Friday night.

The Venue: The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi. This ground historically favours the chasing team, except when SRH bats first. There isn’t much in it for the spinners, and having just hosted a game here on Wednesday, the pitch will likely offer assistance to batsmen.

Which team will win Qualifier 2

  • GL (55%, 30 Votes)
  • SRH (45%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 55

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Our picks for your fantasy team Read More …