To reach the international arena in any sport or sector one has to invest their sweat, blood and tears. Technology is now making it easier for athletes to figure out where they are going wrong and how they can improve. While these facilities are easily available for international and national players, it is not easily available for upcoming players at the grassroots. CricFi aims to change that.
What is it?
CricFi is a platform that provides budding and upcoming cricketers with solutions, applications and tools to look after all aspects of their cricket career. As an internet-based service available through a website and mobile app, it aims to provide a transparent platform to foster and accelerate the growth of sporting culture in India.
CricFi also offers services to coaches, bloggers and critics, in addition to players. Each can sign up and create their profiles on the platform. Players can showcase their achievements and performances, lifetime cricket statistics at different levels and get discovered. They also can search, connect and chat with coaches and can also access online coaching sessions, videos, and other learning materials made available by coaches.
Coaches can share their knowledge through videos and reach out to more talent. Bloggers and critics can use this platform to share live scores and their views on matches. Members can directly connect to other players, coaches, cricket critics and activity partners. They can organize teams, matches and tournaments and invite others to be part of it. The process of creating and maintaining player-specific profiles is similar to how international players keep and record their current and old cricket scores.
Users can sign up on the platform and fill in details such as gender, age and location to help in ‘discovery’. They can modify or hide it in future. Users can also change their role and even activate more than one role. Features and tools are provided to help organize and manage teams, matches and tournaments. CricFi allows its members to manage their player, coach and blogger profile which acts as their showcasing platform to help them get noticed.
Location based search: Members can explore or search to find players, coaches, critics, teams, matches and tournaments in their area using location and name based search functionality.
The team behind Cricfi
CricFi was co-founded by Pankaj Kumar, Saurabh Mahtha, Kumar Shashank, and Dinesh Sriram. Pankaj, Saurabh and Kumar are currently working in the e-commerce industry and have many years of product development experience between them. Pankaj has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from University of Iowa while Saurabh and Kumar have done their Masters in Computer Science from Texas A&M University and University of Florida respectively.
Coming from different backgrounds they had done their B.Tech. from the same university. What brought them together was their passion for cricket and technology. Though this passion continued even after graduation, they came together only after moving to the US where they faced a common problem – How to find players, teams and tournaments to play cricket locally?
Further they realized that technology was being used constructively at every level of sports in the US. That is when they realized that they could create a technology based platform for amateur and aspiring cricketers in India – given the huge popularity of the game in India -- to help them showcase their potential and discover other cricketers. In due course, Dinesh, who has a Masters in Computer Science from Purdue University and three years of infrastructure support experience, joined them.
They decided to go with the name ‘CricFi’, short for ‘cricket fidelity’, which they feel reflects on their vision of building a product which stays true to the experience of cricket. They wanted to cover all aspects of the game and bring together everyone who loves cricket on a common platform. Since the beginning of this initiative they wanted to launch this service in two countries: India and USA, with primary focus on India. Other than the four co-founders they have two people who manage their India operations.
The team also developed a mobile app to allow users to record ball by ball scores of ongoing matches on the ground. The app allows users to handle all the outcomes that are possible in a particular ball during a cricket match. They claim that it also has the flexibility to select any number of players in a match and any number of overs. Further live score (summary) of any of these ongoing matches can be seen by anyone else using the mobile app. Finally, all the stats flow into website which is publically available.
While there are companies like Cricinfo and CricBuzz which provide similar or part of these services at the international level, Chauka Cricket Solutions founded by Manoj Iragavarapu and Galli Grounds founded by Pradyumna Doddala and Vamshi Reddy also provide similar services for amateur cricketers.
Successes so far
Going forward, CricFi aims to connect talent with opportunity on a larger scale. They are planning to launch Windows and iOS based mobile applications in the next three to four months.
They are also working on expansion plans and partnering with cricket organizers in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chandigarh to bring technology into entry level cricket. In USA, they are working on partnering with organizers and covering national leagues there where technology is prevalent. CricFi will also continue working with Indian Twenty Cricket Federation (ITCF) to cover their matches and bring their players on CricFi platform.