By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) has partnered with India-based fantasy sports platform, Dream 11, to stream the local body’s T10 cricket tournament scheduled to bowl off on Thursday.
All matches in the 10 Splash Cricket Tournament will be streamed from the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground to viewers across India and the rest of the world.
President of the ABCA, Leon Rodney, said the partnership has been in the making for some time now.
“Dream 11 has been running us down for a full Dream 11 10-overs-a-side tournament and if you look at the Dominica one and the St Lucia one, that it done by Dream 11, they prefer to have those tournaments with six teams, and you know the purpose they do those tournaments with the matches beaming back to India, but we managed to secure discussions with them and this tournament will be partly powered by Dream 11,” he said.
The linkage has however forced the cricket association to alter the start time for matches in the 10 Splash, which are usually played in the evenings with some matches on the weekend scheduled to start as early as 11:30am.
Rodney said this is in keeping with the agreement they have made with Dream 11.
“Dream 11 will be taking the feed over to India and obviously you know the need for that and there is no secret that some kind of betting will be set up by Dream 11 in terms of the betting arm of things. So, that’s the reason why you may need to have the games played at a time they have the audience to take that feed. Based on the feedback from the VP Kenny Lewis, it seems that [clubs] are very much on board,” he said.
Teams have been placed in two zones for the tournament with the Liberta Blackhawks, New Winthorpes Lions, Pigotts Crushers, Police, Bolans Blasters and Rising Sun Spartans in Zone A, while Empire Nation, Bethesda Golden Eagles, Combined Schools, All Saints Pythons, Freetown, and Jennings Tigers occupying Zone B.
Rodney is hoping the new partnership with Dream 11 could open doors for players.
“Most of these tournaments that Dream 11 puts on, if you look you’d see some of these guys get some contracts up in the UAE … in the smaller T10 tournaments, so I am betting it is going to be beneficial to some players and with some good performances they may find themselves playing in a T10 tournament somewhere in Abu Dhabi,” the president said.
The tournament opens on Thursday with a double-header when Police face Bolans Blasters at 3pm and Pigotts Crushers take on Rising Sun Spartans at 6pm.
The winning team will take home $5,000.