Google is aware of cricket’s influence in the sub-continent and is going all out to ensure that fans have a enriching cricketing experience [and of course, to milk it for all its worth] during its premier tournament. The ICC Cricket World Cup kicks off with its first official match [Pakistan vs. West Indies] tomorrow. Cricket Zone with Krish Srikkanth is a blog authored by the former Indian cricketer and supported by Google [via Digital Inspiration.] Srikkanth kicked off that blog by writing about India’s World Cup win way back in 1983 when he was one of Kapil’s Devils. It remains to be seen how popular that blog gets but if Google wishes, they can promote it like nobody’s business.
Google is adding more widgets to Google Desktop – Cricket Scores, Cricket Videos, and Cricket Images and News. As with any popular event, this World Cup promises to be a rich online experience although many websites could have done a far better job. Except I see a serious lack of credible options available to cricket fan. ICC purportedly has sold the webcasting rights to Cricket Next but I fail to see a reliable or easy-to-use interface. At the most, there are plenty of videos provided by CNN-IBN and a tab saying, Live Scorecard. Chances are that they might be waiting for the official WC matches to begin. I bet those who can’t afford to buy the conventional TV packages will be glad to sit through commercials on a free webcast version. Students across U.S universities are known to enjoy cricket simply by refreshing the scoreboard page on Rediff or Cric Info. IndiCast has promised to provide an audio commentary via Skypecast [for all India matches] where listeners can even join the conversation and indulge in cricket gossip and ranting on their team’s performance.
Update: Google even had a cool adaptation of their logo to celebrate the Cricket World Cup [via Sepia Mutiny.]