"Targeting to reach a user base of 50 million in the next two years": Abhishek Desai, founder, Cricheroes

Abhishek Desai, Founder, CricHeroes
CricHeroes founder Abhishek Desai

CricHeroes, a widely popular app among cricket enthusiasts, has slowly but surely been somewhat able to do something many thought was impossible - give a platform to the millions who want to show their skills off to the world but cannot due to a lack of proper exposure.

While the BCCI itself has been able to build one of the most structured systems for the sport in the country, the scope of cricket being played at the grassroots level is too massive. Cricheroes has thus far done a special job of shining the spotlight on those uncut gems who stay in the darkness for far too long.


Launching CricHeroes Shots

The cricket network recently announced the launch of Shots, an app for cricket short videos from matches live streamed on CricHeroes. Speaking about the conceptualization of Shots, CricHeroes founder Abhishek Desai said:

“Short form video content is becoming extremely popular today. Take TikTok, Instagram Reels, or Youtube, for example. They are very easy for people to consume. So, if you are interested in cricket, you will definitely be interested in all kinds of cricket-related content. Like those trick shots and wickets, etcetera. So I thought, since we already have good quality of live stream content, we can also enter the short video market.”

Shots will showcase curated moments from the matches livestreamed on the app. Abhishek described the kind of experience he wanted to offer the audience by saying:

“On Cricheroes Shots you will see authentic cricket videos only. And that is what separates us from other platforms. People remain active on the app not only when they are playing so we are aiming to increase the engagement through the means of Shots.”

When CricHeroes started back in 2016, it was just a simple scoring app, but today, it has reached immense heights, becoming a platform for over 15 million registered users. The company has now built what it terms a mobile-first platform that builds an ecosystem around grassroots cricket and enables e-commerce on top of it. Grassroot cricketers all across the country play without any expectations of returns. Speaking about his objectives when he initially started the app, Abhishek said:

“Our primary objective was to put the spotlight on the thousands of grassroot cricketers who play with no expectations of any returns. We started doing that by introducing small things. For example, after every match, we started to declare players of the match, batter or bowler of the match algorithmically on the app. And these awards will remain in the profiles of the players so that everyone can see them. We are targeting to reach a user base of 50 million in the next two years.”

Early on itself, Cricheroes also launched "Badges," which are unlocked on players’ profiles if they achieve certain targets, like picking up three wickets or scoring a 50. These badges act as virtual recognitions, which the players can share on different social media apps. Cricheroes has also launched various leaderboards for their tournament module and global leaderboards, as well as daily, weekly and monthly leaderboards for players who recently entered the field.

In a show of commitment to their goal of helping shine a spotlight on quality players from the grassroots community, the company also organized the CricHeroes Awards 2021. It was hosted by noted host and commentator Jatin Sapru, and some of India's top talented cricketers were recognized for their achievements.

Speaking about the inaugural award ceremony, Abhishek said:

“We recognised about 40 cricketers at national level and over 200 players at state level. And all of them were given gift hampers and awards from us.”

Cricheroes have made the selection process at various levels much more transparent now that all the data about player performance is in the public domain. There are several examples of players who have grown from district to state level and eventually, even to the IPL and India A teams.

Citing an example, Abhishek said:

“Yash Dhull (a member of India's winning side at the 2022 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup) is one such example who played in local tournaments and has his profile on the app.”

Cricheroes has associations with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu State Cricket associations, and are involved in the day-to-day scoring and streaming of the matches. They have recently come on board as the official scoring platform for the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) and Andhra Premier League (APL). Abhishek added that they were in talks with multiple IPL franchises for future associations in terms of streaming and scoring.

Speaking about how the future looks, Abhishek said:

“We have started processing the complete live stream and make small videos of each ball, and those videos will be attached to each ball’s commentary automatically. We have also launched ‘Highlights,’ which will be a small compilation of the player’s performance alongside their profile on the match’s scorecard.”

The future no doubt looks exciting for CricHeroes. Their creative product offerings in the scoring and streaming market offer a strong base for a long-term sustainable business, and the increased focus on the growth of the grassroots sports industry that will come with it.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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