The Rise of Simulated Cricket Leagues

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There is no doubt that the ongoing global pandemic has caused many problems in countries around the globe. Due to the dire health situation in India, one of its most recent victims became the Indian Premier League. On May 4th, the BCCI announced that in conjunction with the IPL GC (the Indian Premier League Governing Council), it would take the necessary step of postponing the remainder of the 2021 season. BCCI’s vice president Rajeev Shukla claims that the IPL is not canceled but merely postponed, with the remaining matches taking place sometime within this calendar year. 

According to reports, the decision came after foreign players expressed a desire to leave India over health safety concerns. Now no one knows when the IPL will resume or if the 2021 season will get played out in its entirety. Thus, such uncertainty has left many sports bettors to gravitate toward enjoying simulated cricket wagering. Many sportsbooks have long had this option, but it has only now started to generate traction due to the unavailability of top-level cricket matches. 

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One of the most popular options for cricket fans now is the simulated reality league Big Bash League SRL. That is the virtual representation of the Australian professional franchise Twenty20 cricket league. Along with the IPL, this is only one of two T20 cricket leagues to rank in the top ten domestic sports leagues in average attendance numbers. Its simulated iteration is currently a smash hit with online bettors. 

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How Do Simulated Leagues Work?

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Simulated reality leagues are a recent sportsbook offering that combines artificial intelligence and historical data to produce match results that accurately represent potential real-world game outcomes. Sports statistical services such as BetRadar feed a computer algorithm with data about players’ past achievements, current team form, head-to-head confrontations, etc. Then the AI software infuses this information with factors that it decides at semi-random, such as the weather and pitch conditions to formulate a realistic outcome. Simulated games happen in real-time, and bettors can watch a 3D representation of the events as they occur and even do some live betting.

So, simulated sports events are the fusion of mass sets of data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The results produced by this combination are not random. They have a factual basis. Thus, this is an entirely different form of gambling than slots or other games that incorporate random number generation and are chanced-based. The standings featured in simulated leagues (SRLs) often mirror those of real ones, so sports knowledge is super-beneficial when predicting the outcomes of simulated results.

The betting options provided for SRLs are the same as the standard ones on offer for real-world competitions. Meaning, bettors can choose from a wide array of wagering possibilities, such as who will be the top batsman or bowler, handicap bets, over/under ones, and so much more.

Are Simulated Leagues the Future of Sports Betting?

There is no doubt that the ongoing global pandemic accelerated the growth of AI-powered professional sports. It will not be long until AI manages to create indistinguishable digital versions of players that are so lifelike that most people will not be able to tell the difference between them and the real thing. So, visually, soon, there will be zero difference between watching a simulated match versus a real one. Given that data drives simulated results, outcome-wise, they are already realistic enough. They also provide the essential benefit of not being affected by real-world events, providing a level of reliability that bettors previously did not enjoy. 

There is no doubt that the events of these past two years caused an unintentional introduction to this betting genre for most people. Now, only time will tell how many will choose to stick around, and if simulated reality leagues are only a fad, or will they grow into a sportsbook mainstay.

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Shivam Malhotra
A social media enthusiast who is in love with this digital world! Wrote the first article for DU Express in May 2016.

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