Life as we have known it has hit pause, but if nothing, sport teaches us to be resilient, to never give up, and to find a way ahead. So in the truest tradition of sport, ESPN, the one-stop destination for all things sports, is playing on and would like all the fans of the game to join too. In the absence of live sport, ESPN has invented and re-imagined the content creation process to ensure a steady stream of relevant and engaging content for the fans. Here’s a list of things to watch out for:
1. Evergreen stories: We have dug out ever-relevant stories from our repository that strike a chord with fans everywhere, anytime. We bring you the best of ESPNcricinfo shows that were loved by the fans: Mar 30, 2020 onwards
· World Cup Exxtras: Cricketers narrate interesting anecdotes from the World Cups that they have been a part of
· My favorite WC performance: As the name suggests, cricketers narrate the top WC performance they have witnessed
· The Rookie ‘before & after’: How did new talent that everyone was watching out for, fair at the 2019 World Cup
2. On this Day – an animated series capturing the important moments from the world of cricket that took place on this day in past and changed the course of the game. Starts on Apr 2, 2020
3. ESPNcricinfo launches Videocast with Sanjay Manjrekar. Sanjay hosts each episode and connects with a relevant guest from the cricketing world over video-chat. The style of conversation is relaxed and entertaining while delving deep into the subject. The guests on the show include renowned names from the world of cricket such as Michael Hussey, Graeme Swann, Daren Ganga and more. The show goes on air from Apr 5, 2020 onwards
4. ESPNcricinfo One on One #WorkFromHome
ESPNcricinfo catches up with cricketers over video-chat during this global time-out to discuss their career, life-goals, personal matters and ways of dealing with social distancing. The show premieres on Apr 10, 2020 and features Robin Uthappa from Rajasthan Royals as the first guest.
5. Feature: Helmet Story
Thanks to the concussion rule, which was introduced 6-8 months ago, a lot of attention has been brought to batsmen's helmets and the protection they offer from impact etc. ESPNcricinfo digs deeper to find out how far a helmet can protect a batsman from injury or harm etc. and if improvements in technologies and techniques have made a difference. To go on air from Apr 27, 2020
6. ESPNcricinfo 25 questions: A rapid fire style interview with the cricketers
· Sophie Devine - Apr 6, 2020
· Glenn McGrath - Apr 16, 2020
· Imran Tahir – Apr 28, 2020
7. ESPN Shorts: Starting April 6th, ESPN Shorts will capture stories unique stories in a short and crisp format. The segment will explore stories such as ‘future of MS Dhoni’ or the ‘impactful cricketing innovations in T20s’
8. RetroLive: Ball by ball of old classic matches: Live ball-by-ball commentary on classic matches as if the game is being played out in front of viewers right now: Apr 2, 2020
· The 2011 World Cup Final India vs Sri Lanka: Real time ball-by-ball commentary of
9. The Dream Team: ESPNcricinfo staffers and experts play selectors to pick fantasy XIs from the past. The selection meeting will be conducted on a live blog.
· All-Asian World Cup XI drawn from the World Cup winning teams of 1983, 1992, 1996 and 2011 - Scheduled to run March 30, 2020
10. ‘I was there’: Reliving iconic matches with the players who actually played in them
· West Indies v Pakistan, Antigua 2000 - scheduled for Apr 3, 2020
11. Alternative universe: We turn a game-changing moment the other way and imagine how things would have gone down.
What would have happened that fateful 2019 World Cup final had the ball not deflected off Ben Stokes’ bat? What would a World Cup-winning New Zealand have looked like? Alagappan Muthu imagines a different timeline.
12. Come to think of it: A new take on cricket bromides that have become accepted wisdom.
Sidharth Monga examines South Africa’s infamous loss in the 1992 World Cup semi-final – was it luck, as everyone says, or was it the consequences of their own actions earlier in the game?
13. Stats features
· Smart Stats: Using ESPNcricinfo’s new set of metrics to tell more insightful and enriching numbers-based stories. Weekly feature
· On this day: Looking at important events of the past through the lens of stats
14. Interviews/player profiles: Longform thematic interviews with players and deep dive player profiles
o Meet the teenage Warwickshire player who might end up as one of the fastest bowlers in the women's game
o Matthew Mott, Australia women’s coach looks back at the T20 World Cup and the moment the tide turned for his side
Most of our in-house coverage has been centered around the Olympics and the uncertainty. A couple of standout stories:
Coping with Corona series, looking at what athletes were doing locked up at home
Playing to our strength of blogging/diary format, which is very popular during live events, we plan to do one diary piece each weekend, to be published on Monday. This was Weekend 1, the Diary of a sports fan without live sport
Quiz of the day: Using Playbuzz to do different kinds of quizzes to keep the reader engaged
Other features to be rolled out in the next few days:
· My First Time: Each of our writers on the first match they remember, and why it still matters to them (Sharda Ugra on the Irani Trophy match in 1982, Joy Gupta on India v West Indies in 1983, etc)
· Watching brief: Twice-weekly playlist of archival sport on the web
· I was there: Similar to the ESPNcricinfo concept, taking one great sports match of the past and recreating it through the people who were there. Planned so far: India’s 1980 Olympic hockey gold, Gopichand’s All-England badminton win, Leander Paes’ 1993 Davis Cup win against France
(We got this information in a press release.)