ESPNcricinfo

ESPNcricinfo
ESPNCricinfo.png
Screenshot
Main page of ESPNcricinfo
Type of site
Sports website
Available inEnglish
OwnerESPNcricinfo.com
Alexa rankNegative increase 313 (January 2017)[1]
CommercialYes
RegistrationOptional
LaunchedMarch 15, 1993 (1993-03-15)[2][3]
Current statusActive

ESPNcricinfo[4] (formerly known as Cricinfo[5] or CricInfo) is a sports news website exclusively for the game of cricket. The site features news, articles, live coverage of cricket matches (including liveblogs and scorecards), and StatsGuru, a database of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present. As of March 2018, Sambit Bal was the editor.[6]The site, originally conceived in a pre-World Wide Web form in 1993 by Dr Simon King,[7] was acquired in 2002 by the Wisden Group—publishers of several notable cricket magazines and the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. As part of an eventual breakup of the Wisden Group, it was sold to ESPN, jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, in 2007.

History

CricInfo was launched on 15 March 1993 by Dr Simon King, a British researcher at the University of Minnesota, with help from students and researchers at universities around the world.[8][9]

The site was reliant on contributions from fans around the world who spent hours compiling electronic scorecards and contributing them to CricInfo's comprehensive archive, as well as keying in live scores from games around the world using CricInfo's scoring software, "dougie".[10][11] In 2000, Cricinfo's estimated worth was $150 million; however it faced difficulties the following year as a result of the dotcom crash.[12]

Cricinfo's significant growth in the 1990s made it an attractive site for investors during the peak of the dotcom boom, and in 2000 it received $37 million worth of Satyam Infoway Ltd. shares in exchange for a 25% stake in the company (a valuation of around £100 million). It used around $22m worth of the paper to pay off initial investors but only raised about £6 million by selling the remaining stock. While the site continued to attract more and more users and operated on a very low cost base, its income was not enough to support a peak staff of 130 in nine countries, forcing redundancies.

Cricinfo in 1995

By late 2002 the company was making a monthly operating profit and was one of very few independent sports sites to avoid collapse (such as Sports.com and Sportal). However, the business was still servicing a large loan. Cricinfo was eventually acquired by Paul Getty's Wisden Group, the publisher of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and The Wisden Cricketer, and renamed Wisden Cricinfo. The Wisden brand (and its own wisden.com site) were eventually phased out in favor of Cricinfo for Wisden's online operations. In December 2005, Wisden re-launched its recently discontinued Wisden Asia Cricket magazine as Cricinfo Magazine, a magazine dedicated to coverage of Indian cricket. The magazine published its last issue in July 2007.

In 2006, revenue was reported to be £3m.[13]

In 2007, the Wisden Group began to be broken up and sold to other companies; BSkyB acquired The Wisden Cricketer, while Sony Corporation acquired the Hawk-Eye ball tracking system.[14] In June 2007, ESPN Inc. announced that it had acquired Cricinfo from the Wisden Group.[15] The acquisition was intended to help further expand Cricinfo by combining the site with ESPN's other web properties, including ESPN.com and ESPN Soccernet. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.[16]

Sambit Bal is currently the Editor-in-Chief of ESPNcricinfo.[17] In 2013, ESPNcricinfo.com celebrated its 20 anniversary of founding with a series of online features. The annual ESPNcricinfo Awards have also become an extremely popular event in the cricket calendar.[citation needed]