The Cricinfo website has become an indispensable part of the lives of cricket fans all over the world. From its beginning as a web site offering live scores, to the launch of blogs and video content, the website has grown with the game. Its global reach and strong commercial success have made it one of the most popular online cricket sites in the world.
Since its inception, the website has evolved from an amateur community of cricket fans into a major brand. As well as covering every significant cricket match from around the globe, the site offers ball by ball text commentary, complete scorecards, and live updates. In addition to its coverage of the World Cup, the website has also published books and magazines. Some of its most popular features include the ball by ball text commentary of the Match Companion and the ball by ball statistics of the Statsguru.
While the website has developed from a blog to a comprehensive news site, it still looks a bit amateur. Many of its functions are unclear and its user interface can be hard to navigate. On the other hand, its scores and scorescards are compiled from hundreds of scorers all over the world. Nevertheless, the site remains a staple of the cricket world and is worth a download.
In the 1990s, the site attracted a huge number of users. During the dotcom boom, the company attracted investors such as Satyam Infoway, which acquired a 25% stake in the company in 2003. A few years later, cricinfo was bought by the cricket media firm of Wisden Group and received a majority stake. This was the first major investment in the company.
In the early days, the site provided scores, video and audio streaming, and live blogging for major matches. At one point, Cricinfo ran a fantasy league. For a fee, players could enter a league based on the NatWest series between England and Pakistan. Users could share files, post their scores and even join chat rooms to discuss the match.
In the mid-nineties, the site moved to a more advanced format. It adopted Gopher, which was a precursor to a web browser. Instead of loading a page on the server, the site allowed the user to view its scorecards on the computer, which they could then save and send to other people.
In the early days, the site also hosted official websites from various cricket boards. David Richards, who was then the ICC’s CEO, persuaded boards around the world to put their official sites on the website.
As the popularity of the internet grew, the company launched its own mobile application. The Cricinfo Mobile site allowed users to watch live three-dimensional animation of matches, and users could follow matches via an audio service.
The site subsequently became the official site of the 1996 World Cup and 1997 ICC Trophy. It was also the host site for the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.
In 2001, Cricinfo sponsored the English First Class Tournament. It also ran a subscription-based fantasy league. One of the most famous cricketers to have a profile on the site is Sachin Tendulkar. He broke the records for most searches on ESPNcricinfo until 2014.
After the dotcom crash, the site was purchased by Paul Getty, an American-born millionaire. He then financed redevelopment work at the Lord’s cricket ground. During the World Cup, the site launched a special microsite for the tournament.