March 24, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

Own your own team

Akhila Ranganna

Always wanted to own a star-studded cricket team, but never had the chance (or the money) to do so? Well, about 100-odd people in Dubai got an opportunity to bid for their dream World Cup 12-man squad ahead of the quarter-finals. According the National dozens of cricket crazy fans were given the chance – and a “purse” of $100 million - to bid for their dream team at a fantasy cricket auction series organised in Dubai. And they were fully prepared – armed with laptops, statistics, player details and of course their pretend money.

For most participants, it was a chance to live out a dream – sorry, fantasy. “I feel like I’m a Vijay Mallya or an Ambani when I’m spending US$100 million. I feel like I own the players and can call them up and say, ‘Hey, play better’”, Radha Javeri, a home-maker said. Unlike other fantasy games, this one doesn’t allow for team changes but that didn’t spoil the fun. “I’ve set my alarm for 2am, when I usually receive the points, and check it by 2.30am every day,” said Deep Javeri. “At 6am I meet my brother and we confirm that our team is still leading. This is as close as we can come to owning a team. That’s the fantasy.” And no prizes for guessing which player fetched the highest bid – Sachin Tendulkar, who went for a whopping $60 million. Move over IPL.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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