If you are an avid cricket fan located outside the Indian subcontinent (and trust me, there are plenty of us), you have been searching high and low to get decent options for live online streaming videos for the Cricket World Cup.

As Chetan mentioned, this is a huge potential market waiting to be tapped and ICC messed up royally by not exploring a decent webcast deal with one of those sites with a sturdy webserver. The expat and student community are willing to shell out money if they are assured of a reliable service. We don’t even mind a few commercial between the overs. But as you know, when there isn’t a viable legal option, there are plenty of illegal and scrupulous providers who’ll milk this flood of searches for all its worth. I’m listing a couple of websites that you should stay away from:

Live Cricket Webcast by Tamilar – This site is a classic example of misleading readers and visitors. There is no option for watching the matches live and instead just feature a scoreboard. Also, they ask for ‘donations’ to keep the site running. I’m sure you know you’ll never see your money if you donate in hope of getting a free streaming link. Also, the site is chok-a-blok with ads that implore you to click. A smart visitor wouldn’t but most web visitors aren’t smart. This dude even spammed my comment box with links which I promptly deleted. the site also links to other sites which place misleading Adsense ads.

Action8Cricket – I believe this is an offshoot of the above site or vice versa. They use the same ‘donation’ tactic. They ask for $10 to send a ‘special live streaming software’. I received an angry email from one of their visitors warning me off their website because he lost his money. The link for ‘watch live cricket online’ smartly embeds a Google Video which itself gives you an illusion that you might get the same once you pay up.

Current-Teams-Playing-Deepthi-dot-com: If you want how not to use Adsense ads, this is a perfect example. Also, it doesn’t offer any current matches. It is basically a match report site…of outdated matches. But the site has smartly put keywords in their page title that gets them readers.

No links offered for obvious reasons. Note that these sites pop up at the top of any Google search for Live Streaming Cricket World Cup so chances are that they’ll continue to get readers but since now this blog comes up occasionally on the front page of such searches, I hope readers will be warned. If you notice, the title of your site/post makes all the difference. It contains all the keywords that web surfers will look for. I hope that works in case of this post too and warns readers off those cheats. Now, there are some sites which offer you seemingly legal and reliable live cricket webcast service.

Dish Network which offers a conventional TV package also includes an online option (via Willow TV) that lets you watch a streaming version on your PC. But the brainiacs at Dish thought it wise to restrict that streaming option only for your home PC. Arzan found that the hard way and is now trying to find a tech workaround

[update: he has worked out a cool fix that involves TV Tuner card, VLC Media Player, and a network router]. Now, why the hell would you want to watch a streaming version at home when you have it on TV?

You need not sign up for Dish Network if you prefer only a streaming version. You can directly sign up with Willow TV which is offering a World Cup package for the World Cup for $199.95. They offer you a test clip to check if your system and Internet connection is compatible. Dial-up connections, of course will not work.

I’m looking for a decent streaming option but have failed to come up with anything so far. So I’m relying mostly on IndiCast’s Live Skypecast which at least is fun. Let me know if you find anything.