November 7, 2012

Choose your ESPNcricinfo homepage

We will not pretend this is a dazzling innovation. Even though ESPNcricinfo has run multiple homepages for years now, you have not had the option of choosing which one to set as your default

We will not pretend this is a dazzling innovation. The practice of allowing users to select between various editions of website homepages has existed on the internet for many years. But even though ESPNcricinfo has run multiple homepages for years now, you have not had the option of choosing which one to set as your default.

It wasn't because we didn't trust you to make the right choice for yourself, but because we were unsure about how it would sit with our image of ourselves: as one site for one cricket world. Internationalism has always been the bedrock of our editorial policy. The content that we offer on the site is the same across the world. The writings of our correspondents and writers are informed with local knowledge, but the perspective is always global. We sometimes find ourselves reflecting on the irony when we are accused of being biased both in favour of and against the same team. We recognise nationalism as among the biggest curses of cricket coverage, and our writers are trained to steer clear of it.

So we have, unnecessarily perhaps, fretted a bit about the message offering editions will transmit. We needn't have.

Over the years we have grown our local coverage. We have desks in three time zones; we have correspondents in most major cricket-playing countries. We provide scorecards of every domestic tournament in the Test-playing nations. This year we covered English County Championship matches with men on the ground. And so, by going more local, we are more global than ever. The limitlessness of our medium allows us to expand our coverage continuously without making sacrifices: unlike in print, say, a new feature or a new section need not replace something.

However, the homepages need to be finite; otherwise they would scroll forever. That's why we have tailored them to reflect regional flavour. A county match report will find top billing on the UK edition, but may not be available on the Pakistan one. When the Indian domestic season starts, news and features relating to it can be found under a tab next to "More news" on the Indian edition. A feature on Australia's selection policy might be on the top of the "Specials" panel on the Australia edition.

So while our content remains the same across the world, the presentation varies from region to region. It has done for a few years, and since these pages are geo-targeted, they have been served to you based on where you are accessing the site from.

It will continue to be so. For example, if you are based in Australia, the Australian edition will open by default in your browser. However, you now have the option of choosing your ESPNcricinfo homepage (use the drop-down at the top left-hand corner, just above the ESPNcricinfo masthead). For instance, if you happen to be a follower of Pakistan cricket based in Australia, you can now choose the Pakistan global homepage to be your default.

To start with, we are offering five homepages. Global, which is our default international edition, India, England, Australia and New Zealand, Africa, and Pakistan. But there will be more coming your way soon.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo