It is a section on ESPNcricinfo's fan site, The Stands, where cricket fans write about matches - internationals and domestic - they watch live.
If you're a keen and observant fan, think you can do a good job of writing about your experiences, and are going to be attending an upcoming match (take a look at the schedule of international games for the next two months here), drop us a line here, with "Fan Following" in the subject line and let us know which game you're going to be at, and a bit about yourself (not more than 100 words, please). If we think you sound promising, we'll let you know if you can do a Fan Following report for us.
Perhaps the best way to answer that is by making clear what we do not want: Fan Following is not a space for traditional match reports. Those are done by in-house writers. It is also not a space to write comment/opinion pieces. We have that covered as well.
Remember, those reading your piece will already know what happened at the game. So give them something more. The sights, the sounds, the thrills (or the utter boredom, as the case may be).
Between 700 and 1000 words. Or about as long as this FAQ. It's not a big deal if you go over the limit. We can take care of editing it down to size.
No, sorry. We're looking for experiences of fans at the grounds, and that doesn't work when done off TV or the internet.
No problem. We'll still be interested in your report.
Between one and four days before a game. Once you hear from us, you need to confirm as soon as possible that you will be attending the game and will be able to do the report. The reason we need confirmations as soon as possible is because we occasionally contact multiple volunteers. So the earlier you get back to us, the better your chances of securing the spot.
As soon after the game as possible. A rule of thumb is: by about 5am GMT / 10.30 IST the day after the game.
Yes, but it needs to come in within five hours of the end of the game if it has to have a shot at being published. And we can't guarantee that it will be published even if it meets the deadline. Your best chance is to contact us well in advance and get a confirmation from us before writing your report.
Unfortunately we can't pay you or arrange for match tickets. However, we promise that your writing will be read by a huge number of cricket fans. We will also publish your photo, a short bio, and a link to your blog or website.
No, sorry. That's for professional journalists. We can't arrange for press accreditation or other access for volunteer writers.
Usually, but there may be exceptions. Your report needs to meet our editorial standards and come in on deadline.
We usually only individually contact those we shortlist to cover a particular game. So if you haven't been notified, you're probably out of luck for that particular game; but do try later - there's plenty of cricket to go round.
Yes, for grammar, style, accuracy, length and facts.
Copyright for submissions to Fan Following stays with you, the writer, and you are free to publish a piece you send us elsewhere. You can publish on a personal blog at any time (with a link to the relevant ESPNcricinfo page, if possible). If you're looking to publish in any other media, we ask that you wait two days after the piece in question is published on ESPNcricinfo before doing so.
Unfortunately we can't publish your pictures (even if they're just of you and your friends at the ground) because we're only cleared to use pictures from accredited photographers and agencies.