Kolkata's Sarbajit Mitra crowned CricIQ champion
Sarbajit Mitra, an M. Phil student from Kolkata has emerged as the winner of the first edition of ESPNcricinfo's CricIQ quiz, a two-month long, nationwide hunt for the most knowledgeable cricket fan. Sarbajit, 26, fought off a worthy challenge from the other finalists - Danny Bhandari, Shasheen Shah and Manish Achuth - who had been shortlisted through multiple stages of quizzing from tens of thousands of participants.
Sarbajit won the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to London to watch India play England this summer in the second Test match at Lord's. It was third-time lucky for Sarbajit, who was a finalist at the ESPN school quiz in 2004, and also missed out closely at the ESPN-Star Sports Champions of the World inter-collegiate quiz in 2009.
Sarbajit's win marks the end of a successful first edition of CricIQ. The competition was launched on April 16, with online rounds that allowed cricket lovers three attempts every day for a period of 40 days to make it to the top of the hotly contested weekly leader-boards. Unlike traditional quizzes that are aimed at the trivia geeks, CricIQ was a contest designed for fans, giving them multiple opportunities to do well and progress to subsequent rounds.
The top five from each week clashed in video rounds hosted over the internet via Hangouts. Participants from different parts of the world logged in to tackle questions thrown at them by Bhattacharjya, who joined the Hangouts from different cities each weekend, since he was travelling with the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL team. The four finalists were identified after seven rigorous Hangouts rounds, with Sarbajit going on to win the big prize. He is set to travel to London with his father, also a big fan of the game.
"I have always been an ardent cricket follower. However, cricket quizzes in India are few and far between," Sarbajit said, soon after receiving his prize from Rahul Dravid. "It has been great to participate in a unique cricket quiz like CricIQ and is an even better feeling to win. I wasn't entirely sure about the Google Hangout format to begin with but, I have to say, this has been a brilliant experience right from start to finish. Going to Lord's is a long-time dream come true and I am grateful to ESPNcricinfo for giving me the opportunity and, more importantly, for creating an exciting cricket quiz that truly tested the extent of my cricketing knowledge.
"The quality of the questions was unmatched by any competition, which you have come to expect from ESPNcricinfo, but what stands out for me, personally, is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the people I have had the opportunity to compete against. If we needed any proof of this country's love for cricket and its knowledge of the game, then this would have to be it."