Pitch-perfect apps

ESPN Cricinfo

To many cricket followers, ESPN Cricinfo is the online Mecca of cricket. You can now carry a pocket-sized version of it in your handset by downloading the ESPN Cricinfo app, which contains a wealth of information, including the latest news, live scores and text commentary, podcasts, statistics and the best push notification system we have seen for live events. We also love that you can customise the app to ensure that news pertaining to your favourite team is on the homepage.

Available for: Android, iOS
Price: Free
Get it from: Google Play, iTunes App Store

While most cricket apps seem to be following similar patterns, Cricbuzz breaks the mould. Perhaps the most handy of these innovations is the inclusion of audio commentary for most international matches and notifications that are a lot more fun to read than the routine score update. Top that off with most of the standard fare — stats, news, profiles, et al — that you see on other apps, and this can be quite a handy app for those wanting their slice of the cricketing pie. But be warned — it is a battery guzzler.

Available for: Android, iOS, BlackBerry
Price: Free
Get it from: Google Play, BlackBerry App World, iTunes App Store

Yahoo! Cricket
While Yahoo! Cricket does not really provide as many statistics as Cricinfo does, it scores in the quality of its features (there’s some very opinionated writing out there, and not all of it from diplomatic celebrities) and some rather witty text commentary (Cricinfo can get predictable after a while). And it is very cross-platform — it is available for iOS, Android, Symbian devices and even the BlackBerry PlayBook (where it looks awesome).

Available for: Android, iOS, BB PlayBook, Symbian
Price: Free
Get it from: BB World, Ovi Store,
iTunes App Store, Google Play

Official DLF IPL 2012/ IPLt20
If it is the IPL that gets your pulse racing in particular, then this is about as close as you can come to getting information from the official horse’s mouth. These are the official apps for the IPL — the IPLt20 app is for iOS devices, while the DLF IPL 2012 apps are available for Android and BlackBerry devices. We still think they are not really in the Cricinfo league (slower and fewer updates), but they’re still a very handy option if it is the IPL that matters to you.

Available for: Android, iOS, BlackBerry
Price: Free
Get it from: Google Play, iTunes App Store, BlackBerry App World

Stick Cricket
This is in essence an incredibly simple game and is all about timing. All you have to do is hit the ball around — you don’t have to bother about the direction or kind of stroke or even running between wickets. But you do have some very pleasant graphics, very challenging bowling and best of all, official team and player names. The basic app is free but you can buy packages for different levels and tournaments — yes, including the IPL. Loads of fun.

Available for: iOS, Android
Price: Free
Get it from: iTunes App Store, Google Play

World Cup Cricket Fever
Of all the cricket games we have seen on a mobile device, this is by far the most comprehensive, covering different aspects of batting and bowling without mucking up the interface. And, surprise, batting is actually more difficult than bowling, with you having to choose the power and placement of your shot (by swiping your finger) even as the bowler runs in. Bowlers have it easier and can work out where to pitch what kind of delivery and fiddle with fields. Graphics are decent, but we hated the fact that we did not have official player names!

Available for: iOS
Price: $2.99
Get it from: iTunes App Store

Turbo Cricket
For many people, the best thing about cricket is the batting. And that is what this utterly simple game is about. There is nothing to do but stand still, wait for the ball to come and then smite it around by touching the screen at the right time — the bowlers and fielders are hardly visible. That done, compare your scores with other players in the region, and plant flags or capture those set up by others. You can also chat with other players. A simple game that is fun to play, is free and has a social twist to boot — we really could not have asked for more.

Available for: iOS, Android
Price: Free
Get it from: iTunes App Store, Google Play

IPL T20 Fever
All right, the game has not yet officially arrived, but we have played betas and this one comes closest to replicating the magic on a handset. Made by the same team that designed World Cup Cricket Fever, it has similar graphics and is just as comprehensive gameplay, although tailored for T20 cricket. The betas showed players with official jerseys and names — we hope the final version will retain these, as this is after all, the ‘official game’. Worth waiting for, if you want the IPL experience in particular, rather than the cricketing one in general.

Available for: iOS, Android, Symbian
Price: NA
Get it from: iTunes App Store, Google Play, Ovi Store

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