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ABCA seeking to forge closer ties with Indian sports company

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President Leon “Kuma” Rodney said the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association is seeking to forge closer working partnership with India’s Fantasy Sports Company, Dream11.

Dream11, a subsidiary of parent company Dream Sports, is an Indian fantasy sports platform that allows users to play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, handball, basketball, volleyball, rugby, futsal, American football and baseball.

It was founded in 2008 and is now owned by Sporta Technologies Pvt Limited with its headquarters in Mumbai, India.

Dream11 partnered with the ABCA during last month’s hosting of its first domestic competition of the year, the ABCA 10 Splash, which was won by Empire Nation and featured 12 local teams.

Dream11 was able to live streamed the ABCA’s 10 Splash matches via the Dream Sports Fan Code App to an online audience during the competition, which was held from Thursday, 5th January to Friday, 20th January.

Speaking on Platinum’s Radio Touchline Sports Show, Rodney said the ABCA is already engaging Dream11 in further discussions to provide even more meaningful sponsorship to the national cricket association during the course of this year’s domestic programme.

Rodney said the ultimate objective of its ongoing partnership with Dream11 is to offer some financial benefits to the teams which participate in the ABCA’s domestic programme.

“It was a good tournament. The tournament was powered by the ABCA and Dream11 out of India so all the streaming was going back to India and could have been seen on Fan Code via Dream11. Different entities would have taken it from Dream11,” Rodney said.

“We are trying to develop a reasonable partnership with Dream11 and I am pretty sure that within the next coming months you may see the Dream11 six-team 10-over aside tournament.

“That is in discussion along with other things that we want to get done. It makes sense and once we continue to develop that partnership, I am sure that clubs will reasonably be happy because there is some sort of a financial gains that they will get from it.”

In April 2019, Dream11 became the first Indian fantasy sport company to become a unicorn. In business, a unicorn is a privately held startup company valued at over US$1 billion.

In November 2021, Dream11 was valued at US$8 billion. In December 2022, Dream11 had 150 million active users in India.

Rodney said the ABCA is grateful to Cricket West Indies Media Officer Dario Barthley for resurrecting discussions with Dream11, which paved the way for the Indian company to provide the national association with its initial support during the recent 10 Splash domestic competition.

“If you follow 10 overs a side cricket in the Caribbean you would have seen a Dream11 tournament in Dominica, St Vincent and so forth. They are the ones that put that on. We were in discussion with them just before the Pandemic, and unfortunately, the pandemic lock down everything.

“With this, our10 overs aside, it’s not their tournament, but thanks to Dario Barthley, who resurrected some discussions with them, they came on board and accept our tournament,” Rodney stated.

“They really don’t like to do these kind of tournaments with so many teams. They prefer a six-team tournament, but they felt it was necessary and important to get involve in Antigua, and they did so and we appreciate it.

“The ABCA will still have to find some money to put in, but I think that they had cushioned the blow a little bit. But all in all, I think the tournament was good. I just want to thank everybody. Once you know that you would have played your part, thank you very much.”

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