Allrounderz, an online game that allows players to revel in some of the trappings of cricket stardom

Cricket websites are proof of how closely the top players are watched. Their age and career statistics are updated on a daily basis, and they literally live on a stage with a perpetual viewership.

Now, imagine playing cricket every day and enjoying the following of an international cricketer! Allrounderz — a free three-dimensional cricket game on the Facebook platform, being launched by former cricketer S. Venkataraghavan today — promises to turn anyone into a cricketer, with a statistics chart and rating too. “It gives you a cricketer's life and popularity,” says Swami Venkat, founder & CEO, inexgen Games, which has developed the game.

Swerving from the popular model of console-based cricket games — where gamers choose a nation for a team and popular cricketers for the playing 11 — Allrounderz restricts team selection to the people on your Facebook friends' list. “A social game, it enables people to connect with their friends, and also strengthens bonds. On March 12, we threw open the doors for people to form their teams; and, we notice that many teams comprise people who had, in the past, played real cricket together. My Swami XI includes friends I once played cricket with,” explains Venkat.

While Allrounderz (facebook.com/allrounderz) allows you the option of choosing a team with spinners and fast bowlers, the bowling is, at present, controlled by the computer. Allowing someone to chase at a later time, the target set by a friend's team, it is a pseudo, multi-player game. “It is a deliberate choice; this way, people can bat and chase a score when they have the time.”

The scores notched up by a member of another team will go into an automated statistics record; however, the player gets a rating only based on how he performs in the XI he has created. “It is a skill-based game that calls for strategy and ingenious movements at the crease, and sharp use of the keys; therefore, rating is linked to real performances, not proxy ones.”

When a player has climbed high on the ratings ladder, he will be eligible to compete with teams from other cities. This will be followed by face-offs with teams from other countries. At this stage, Venkataraghavan, advisor for the project, will officiate as a virtual umpire. The model will resemble the legendary cricketer-umpire not only in looks, but also in mannerisms.

“People from various parts of the cricket-playing world have formed their teams,” says Venkat. “Our dream is to conduct an Allrounderz World Cup, where teams from around the world will square off against one another.” To keep the fun game going, Allrounderz will generate revenue from corporates who can buy hoardings around the ground. “Certain features such as replay — which we are holding back for the moment — can be bought by business houses and used for branding,” says Venkat. “We want Allrounderz to have all the elements of the real cricket.”