The growth of Fantasy Club Cricket is proof that if you have a canny business idea, the right skillset and dogged determination then nothing can stop you.
For Matt Heppell, being asked by his local cricket club, East Grinstead CC, to run a fantasy league competition got the cogs whirring and, as a web developer, instead of reams of Excel spreadsheets, it made perfect sense to create something bespoke online.
I know what you’re thinking….fantasy football or cricket isn’t exactly new. True enough but typically, you get say £50m and pick a squad of county or international superstars.
Choosing those you play with and against every week adds a different dynamic and Fantasy Club Cricket has been popular ever since.
In just a few clicks, hop on the rollercoaster of your very own club’s season, courtesy of a personalised online Fantasy Club Cricket League.
If you’re rusty on the notion behind it all…pick your team of players from your club and they’ll score you points according to their performance throughout the season.
Pick your mates (or not); ponder who’s going to have a blinder with the bat; predict which bowlers will scatter the bails all season; pluck the names of all-rounders destined to scoop up valuable points week after week.
Fantasy Club Cricket has been designed by someone who plays and understands recreational cricket and gets the fine detail around how to make life easy.
End result? Less time administering the fantasy league and more time discussing how your team’s getting on.
There is a multitude of benefits but let’s jump right in with the major bonus right from the start:
Fantasy Club Cricket integrates with the ECB’s Play-Cricket network of club cricket websites.
Happily, as a consequence, player points are updated automatically when teams submit their scorecards online.
This automates the bulk of the admin side of what is meant to be a fun and time-efficient game.
In effect, the club scorers who enter their scorecards into play-cricket.com are inadvertently doing the legwork for fantasy cricket teams.
The Play-Cricket upgrade is an optional £12 for the year (for each league), discounted depending on what other bells-and whistles you choose to make life easier.
Speaking of which…
HASSLE-FREE ONLINE PAYMENT
Anyone who’s ever organised fantasy cricket in the past – or anything that involves money collection for that matter – will testify it can be a long and weary chase to weed funds out of some.
With Fantasy Club Cricket, there is a team entry fee collection upgrade that ensures users can’t set up a team until they’ve paid their fee.
There is a 15% processing fee taken off the total but for whoever organising the league, I imagine they’ll be arguing strongly to snap that up.
It also works for all of the participants that there’s no stress down the line between team-mates, just nice and simple by paying upfront, securely online.
Online every single day in all walks of life from getting your food shopping delivered when you want (those midnight slots are surprisingly cheap) to Amazon Prime when you need something AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLY – customisation and control just makes sense.
The trouble with being part of a network of teams, fantastical or otherwise, is that feeling you’re just a collection of files sitting on a server somewhere in Grimsby or Guadeloupe.
If you opt for Fantasy Club Cricket, you have your own custom club theme to jazz up your online pavilion with your very own club colours and logo plus your own web address: yourclubname.fantasyclubcricket.co.uk.
Why does this matter? It’s not about eye-candy for the administrator but to harness that sense of community and buy-in.
There’s little point running a league with a single team, the bigger the better because it generates chat down the clubhouse and may even enhance performances out in the middle.
It’s the fine details that actually matter a great deal to those who are enthralled by fantasy cricket.
This is where gamification can turn to profit for any cricket club in the world and transforms fantasy cricket beyond a bit of a laugh into a very handy fundraising tool.
Fantasy Club Club Founder Matt reckons that well over £150,000 has been raised by cricket clubs in recent years. (That’s just the figure he actively collects for clubs). It’s something you can run every year, involve as many people as possible and becomes a simple earner.
By charging say £10 per team a person enters, then cricket clubs can readily rack up handy funds while users get a season of statistical enjoyment and know they’ve directly helped their club too.
An alternative route could be a benevolent one by organising a charity league to support a cause close to a particular club’s heart.
NEW FEATURES FROM 2024
You can cast your eye over all of the innovations but here are two of the key ones:
🏏 An unused transfer will roll over to the following game week which means that a team would then have a maximum of 2 transfers to use.
🏏 There is now a stats page for all club players so players can be listed and ranked in order of runs scored, wickets taken and catches taken. It is also possible to filter by position or value.
WHAT DOES IT ALL COST?
The base cost to start off your own fantasy cricket league is £29 with each team that enters having six fantasy players – with the chance to boost that to the conventional eleven for an extra £6.
The automatic points upgrade (Play-Cricket connection) costs £12 and the entry team collection (online payment of member teams sorted for you) is a 15% processing fee.
If you choose to buy both upgrades (Automatic Points Update & 11 Players Per Team) you’ll pay just £39.95.
But…. wait for it…
🚨 Use the CY20 Discount code 🚨
There’s a generous discount for Cricket Yorkshire readers with 20% off when signing up using CY20 at checkout.
TRY THE DEMO
If the idea of weekly stats, unlimited players and transfers is tempting but you want to click around to get an idea of what you’re buying first, that’s been thought of too.
Clubs enjoying Fantasy Club Cricket
It’s become an easy ‘Yes’ for lots of clubs and here in Yorkshire, the likes of Wath, St Chad’s Broomfield, Queensbury, Millhouses Works, Calverley St Wilfrid’s and Sowerby Bridge Church Institute have signed up again for 2024.
🚨 20% OFF WITH CRICKET YORKSHIRE – CY20 DISCOUNT CODE 🚨
If this sounds like the kind of cost-effective thing your cricket club should be doing then you can set up a league online in minutes ahead of the cricket season.
Plus, there’s that generous discount for Cricket Yorkshire readers with 20% off when signing up using CY20 at checkout!
Have fun and may battle commence!
*This is a sponsored article on behalf of Fantasy Club Cricket – if the mood takes you, click to read Cricket Yorkshire’s policy on sponsored content.**
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