ESPNcricinfo is a website that is complete dedicated to cricket. On the site you can find all the latest news, scores, results, live matches, interviews and stats that go back decades. Since its inception, it has gone on to become one of the most popular sites for cricket fans.
An Interview with the Current Editor
Since March 2018, Sambit Bal has been the editor of this fantastic site. At the beginning of December 2019, Simon Hughes, a former English cricketer and now a cricket journalist, caught up with him for a short interview. You can read the whole interview below.
Simon: Good morning Sambit, thank you for taking the time to talk with me this cold December morning. I will do my best not to keep you long.
Sambit: No worries at all, keep me as long as you like. In fact, please feel free to stop me if I keep waffling on about something.
Simon: (Laughs) I will keep that in mind. So, we are obviously here today to learn a bit more about the website ESPNcricinfo, which you are the editor for. Therefore, could you start us off by giving us some information about how this site came into being?
Sambit: Of course, I would love to! So, CricInfo (this was its original name) was created by Simon King and Badri Seshadri back in 1993. However, it is safe to say that the site wouldn’t be where it was today without the help of researchers and students from universities all over the world. You see, cricket fans from many different countries (india specially) spent a lot of time creating electronic scorecards and adding them to the site’s archive. Furthermore, they also spent time inserting live scores from matches using Dougie.
Simon: Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is Dougie?
Sambit: Well, to put it as simply as possible, Dougie is the name of the software that we use to enable people to insert the scores from cricket matches.
Simon: Great! So, correct me if I am wrong, but am I right in thinking that by the end of the 90s your site was an attractive prospect for investors?
Sambit: You are 100% correct, Simon. At the end of the 90s, the site received $37 million of shares in Satyam Infoway Ltd. in exchange for 25% of the website. Come the turn of the century, it was estimated that net worth of CricInfo was $150 million. By 2002, the company was making a very good monthly profit.
Simon: Once again, if I remember correctly, other independent sport websites at the time were going out of business, but CricInfo was still going strong.
Sambit: Once again, your memory serves you extremely well. Other sites were going bust, but we were still standing. We were then bought by Wisden Group and our named changed to Wisden Cricinfo. Come 2006, our revenue was reported to be around $4 million. The following year, the Wisden Group sold the site to ESPN Inc. They have owned it ever since.
Simon: Is the site still popular to this very day?
Sambit: Absolutely! To give you an idea of how popular we have been in the last decade, the site crashed back in February 2010 when Sachin Tendulkar scored 200* in a One Day International match.
Simon: Ahh yes, I remember that match like it was yesterday. Of course, that record no longer stands. Virender Sehwag beat it the following year when he scored 219 against the West Indies. Then, of course, that was beaten by Rohit Sharma in 2014 when he smacked 264 against Sri Lanka.
Sambit: (laughs) You really know your cricket don’t you, I think I should try and get you a spot on our team.
Simon: (laughs) I would be tempted to join. Before I let you go, could you please just give us a few reasons as to why you think ESPNcricinfo has become so popular?
Sambit: Sure thing. To put it simply, I think it has become so popular because we provide cricket fans with everything that they could ever need. You can find stats about every cricket player and scorecards for matches that were played decades ago. Furthermore, you can find all of the latest news, scorecards, blogs, and columns. If this wasn’t enough, you can also watch some live matches on the site. In short, the site is like Heaven for those who love cricket.
Simon: I must admit, I am a huge fan and visit it often. I often just go on and look at my amazing stats. Nah, I am joking. Anyway, I won’t keep you much longer Sambit. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for talking to me and I wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Sambit: No worries at all, the pleasure was all mine!
A Site All Cricket Fans Must Use Regularly
So, if you are a big cricket fan, you really must bookmark this website. In our opinion, there is no other cricket site out there that gives you such comprehensive information about everything that is happening in the cricket world.
Furthermore, if you think you are a bit of a cricket buff, then you will be happy to hear that there is also a cricket quiz that you can try. Give it a try, take a screenshot of your score, and then send it to your friends to see who is the most knowledgeable when it comes to cricket.