ESPNcricinfo URL espncricinfo.com Commercial? Yes Type of site Cricket related website Registration Optional Available language(s) English Content license All content is copyrighted Owner ESPN Launched 1993 Alexa rank 238 (November 2011[update]) Current status Active
ESPNcricinfo is believed to be the largest cricket-related website on the World Wide Web. Content includes news,articles, live scorecards,live text commentary and a comprehensive and searchable database called 'StatsGuru', of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present. On 11 June 2007, ESPN announced that it had bought Cricinfo from Wisden group.
ESPNcricinfo (originally CricInfo) was launched in 1993 by Dr. Simon King, a British researcher at the University of Minnesota with help from students and researchers at universities around the world. It initially operated as a volunteer-based collective, and started life as a simple IRC bot. It was soon made available via Gopher as well, and with the advent of the Mosaic web browser in April 1993 became one of the earliest content web sites on the Internet.
While a company, CricInfo Ltd, was formed in 1996, CricInfo remained essentially a volunteer run operation until late 1999 and was not fully staffed until late 2000. The site was entirely reliant on contributions from avid fans around the world who spent many hours compiling electronic scorecards and contributing them to CricInfo's comprehensive archive, as well as keying in live scores from games around the world using CricInfo's scoring software, "dougie". In 2006, Cricinfo's estimated worth was $150 million.
Growth and success
Cricinfo's significant growth in the 1990s made it an attractive site for investors during the peak of the dotcom boom, and in 2000 it received $37 million worth of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. shares in exchange for a 25 per cent stake in the company (a valuation of around £100 million). It used around $22m worth of the paper to pay off initial investors but only raised about £6 million by selling the remaining stock. While the site continued to attract more and more users and operated on a very low cost base, its income was not enough to support a peak staff of 130 in nine countries, forcing redundancies.
By late 2002 the company was making a monthly operating profit and was one of very few independent sports sites to avoid collapse (such as Sports.com and Sportal). However, the business was still servicing a large loan. A merger with the better capitalised The John Wisden Group (then owned by Sir Paul Getty) took place, and the company was renamed Wisden Cricinfo. Soon after, the existing wisden.com website was closed and gradually the Wisden brand was also removed from the site. In ten years Cricinfo had effectively established primacy (at least in the electronic sphere) over Wisden, one of the oldest brands in sports publishing.
In June 2007, ESPN Networks announced that they had acquired Cricinfo from Wisden Group, though the brand name and identity would still remain in use. Now known as ESPNcricinfo, the site claims to reach over 20 million users every month.
Arguably the website's most endearing attraction, ESPNcricinfo offers ball-by-ball coverage of all major cricket matches. This coverage is reported from their office in India and it is simply based on live TV coverage available on a sport channel. This is accompanied by a bevy of scorecard options, allowing readers to track such aspects of the game as wagon wheels and partnership breakdowns. For each major cricket match, the live scores are accompanied by a Bulletin, which details the turning points of the match and some of the off-field events. The website is also experimenting with Cricinfo 3D, which creates animations to simulate live matches.
ESPNcricinfo editors regularly provide news updates, detailing the fitness of players, changing room gossip, etc. News articles are usually accompanied by editorials by the website staff.
In the ESPNcricinfo blogs section, cricket writers unaffiliated with the website discuss issues within a certain scope. Notable blogs include:
ESPNcricinfo maintains two daily features. These are:
- All Today's Yesterdays- readers can find out about cricketing events that took place on that date in history
- Quote Unquote- ESPNcricinfo editors compile humorous and controversial quotes from cricketers and cricket administrators
Statsguru and records
The Statsguru system, created by Travis Basevi, allows readers to quickly and easily access all manner of cricketing statistics. This has allowed Cricinfo to maintain their extremely extensive Records section, a popular attraction among readers. In addition to the Records section, ESPNcricinfo offers web pages for individual players, officials, and grounds that track their achievements and provide short summaries of their careers. Web pages are also created for every tour and country.
ESPNcricinfo maintains a few cricket games, notably Slogout, ESPNcricinfo Fantasy Cricket, and the ESPNcricinfo Quiz.
Downloads and feeds
In 2008, ESPNcricinfo installed two new options for readers to receive cricketing news. One can subscribe to the newsletter via an email address or download the ESPNcricinfo toolbar, which allows the user to view the ESPNcricinfo homepage, search the site, go to a country's ESPNcricinfo page, follow live scores, view current and future fixtures, view current and breaking news, view stats, go to ESPNcricinfo games, go to audio pages, view blogs and finally toolbar options. At the start of 2009, the site revamped its RSS: now, there are feeds for all players and officials (55,000+), series (past, present, future), countries, teams, tournaments and more. Examples have been given in mixing and matching common feeds using Yahoo! Pipes too.
Recently, ESPNcricinfo and Moblica launched a mobile ESPNcricinfo application on the Snaptu application network: here
On 24 February 2010 the ESPNcricinfo website crashed at the moment Sachin Tendulkar broke the world record for the highest individual score in an ODI, 200*. This might be result from the huge fan base Sachin Tendulkar has, and the ever rising popularity of ESPNcricinfo as the main website for latest cricket news.
In 2006, the Cricinfo Magazine was established, targeted mainly at cricket fans in India. However, the magazine struggled to gain sufficient readership and ceased publication in 2008.
- ^ "Espncricinfo.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/espncricinfo.com. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
- ^ "CricInfo – The Largest Website in the World". http://cricketfreaks.contentcreatorz.com/cricinfo-the-largest-website-in-the-world/.
- ^ "ESPN acquires Cricinfo". Cricinfo. 2007-06-11. http://content.cricinfo.com/ci/content/current/story/297655.html. Retrieved 2007-06-11.
- ^ Weaver, Paul (16 February 2006). "Cricinfo ups tempo on turning clicks into cash". guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/feb/16/cricket.gdnsport3. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- ^ "About Us". ESPNcricinfo. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/page/156066.html. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- ^ a b From the Editor | Cricket Blogs | ESPN Cricinfo
- Wisden Group
- Cricinfo ups tempo on turning clicks into cash (The Guardian, 16 February 2006)
- History of Cricinfo
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