Fantasy sports may not be a big thing here in these parts. But in countries like the United States, fantasy sports are a multi-billion dollar industry. Its prominent in sports like football, rugby, and basketball. But not so much when it comes to cricket. Meet Cricrush, a new digital cricket fantasy platform from Sri Lanka, made in Jaffna.
The birth of an idea
Ramoshan Canagasaby firmly believes that education is the foundation for anything that has to be innovative. After being in the Silicon Valley for 18 years, he diverted his efforts towards charities that promote education. This is where he came across Yarl IT Hub, a community-driven social enterprise in the northern part of Sri Lanka. Here, he was introduced to the talented youth in Jaffna. Seeing the raw talent and potential, Ramoshan got together with some of these skilled individuals and formed a team, with Hareesan Rajendra as his co-founder.
By around 2014, the team was playing around with quite a few ideas. One of these ideas included fantasy sports. Obviously, fantasy sports isn’t that popular in countries like Sri Lanka. But nevertheless, it’s still an industry with potential. At the same time, there’s also cricket, which is more like a second religion to us Lankans. Ramoshan and his team decided to marry the two ideas. They called it cricket.cash.
From cricket.cash to Cricrush
Joining hands with Crowdisland, the team had quite a few pivots along the way. According to Chalinda, CEO of Crowdisland, perhaps the most pivotal moment was ditching the “cash” part of the name. This was done largely due to the fact that the element of cash tends to have an association/impression with gambling. The idea was to have a free to play mechanism, and have no aspect of gambling involved.
The next idea was to make the platform interactive, a two-way communication of sorts. Ramoshan compares this to ESPNcricinfo, where cricket fans can follow scores, news, and the like. But its mostly a one-way communication. The team wanted the users to have a say, where one could potentially determine the outcome and have fun while doing so. Thus, Cricrush was born.
Mahela joins the party
While the company was formed in 2017, the idea has been in the works for the last 3 years. In July, the team was introduced to Mahela Jayawardene. Seeing Cricrush for what it was, Mahela decided to offer his support. Thanks to his efforts, Cricrush managed to grab the intellectual property rights to use the names and images of actual cricketers from the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA).
Speaking at the official launch, Mahela touched on how the app would challenge the intelligence of cricket fans. He pointed out instances where fans would be vocal about things such as player performances and selections. Mahela sees Cricrush as a way of educating and challenging these fans. “Can you be on the hot seat of a coach or a selector, and can you be consistent and justify your selections?”
“It’s not about performances and money. It’s about challenging the fans in a different aspect, as well as having fun along the way” – Mahela Jayawardene
Prior to the official launch, the app gained over 12,000 downloads, with users coming from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, etc. The fact that the app is available in multiple languages would have probably helped there. So how does one use Cricrush?
For starters, the app incorporates three different types of leagues or challenges. The first is the dream team league. As the name suggests, you have the option of selecting your own “dream team”. Depending on the actual results of the particular match, the translated points from this allow users to rank and rate them against peers. The second is the target prediction league. This is where you would predict the score of a particular match. The third is the live prediction league. Here, the user would predict the score of an ongoing match under certain conditions. For example, the score of the batting team after 5 overs during a match.
Talking about the future for Cricrush, Ramoshan envisions cricket fans eventually coming to Cricrush rather than cricinfo. “Come on, I have to dream big”, remarks Ramoshan.
/ 1 year ago
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