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Social media: An alternate playground for World Cup 2015

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 MUMBAI: While Australia and New Zealand are the epicentre of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook too are planning to make the most of the event by not only introducing a host of innovations but also seeing a number of mentions on these platforms.

Since sports is the ultimate real-time experience, fans on Twitter are getting live updates from their favourite teams, players, coaches, writers, celebrities and fellow fans.

For these reasons, the micro blogging site has created a special Cricket World Cup 2015 timeline called as #CWC15 timeline. According to twitter the most followed players from each of the 14 countries are Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan, Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, Virat Kohli of India, Ross Taylor of New Zealand, Michael Clarke of Australia, Kyle Coetzer of Scotland and Stuart Broad of England. From team Ireland Kevin O?Brien is the most followed from the country and from team South Africa AB De Villiers is the most followed on twitter.

Kumar Sangakara is the most followed cricketer from the island country while Shahid Afridi has made it to the list from neighbouring Pakistan. Chris Gayle is the most followed from West Indies while Brendan Taylor is the most followed from Zimbabwe. 

The micro blogging site has also come up with a twitter dream team. This dream team is composed of the most-mentioned players on the site over the past 12 months, forming a first XI. Those who made to the coveted list are Ahmed Shehzad of Pakistan, Virat Kohli of India, Younis Khan of Pakistan, M S Dhoni from India, Mitchell Johnson from Australia, James Anderson and Stuart Broad from England, Shahid Afridi from Pakistan, Moeen Ali from England, Michael Clarke from Australia and Rohit Sharma from India.

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Twitter partnering for the World Cup, the cricket body?s account provides access to the players, and it?s where they will be posting photos, videos and breaking news from inside the camp of the Men in Blue. 

Speaking about the same, Twitter India and Southeast Asia market director Rishi Jaitly says, ?In India, Twitter is focused on reaching every person with a mobile phone and this product is in service of that goal. We applaud the BCCI for taking the initiative to make it even more accessible for fans to stay in touch with the latest on Indian cricket.?

Twitter has also introduced digital innovations for the coveted tournament. For instance it has come up with a daily recap video on the native video player. If one has missed any of the live action, ICC will send a native video tweet at the end of every match day. This is exclusive to people following the account and will have some of the best action from the game and expert views. The five minute show will go out each evening showcasing each key element of that day?s match.

Meanwhile digital service provider  ?TO THE NEW? has come up with some trends it picked up during India?s clash against Pakistan, where the neighbouring country were thrashed bitterly by the Men in Blue. According to the report, the most number of tweets came from India (74.5 per cent), Pakistan ( 5.8 per cent ), Saudi Arabia (4.4 per cent), USA (4.3 per cent) and UK (2.8 per cent) while that of the other countries put together stood at 8.1 per cent.

The report further states that 79 per cent of the tweets were by males while females made up for 21 per cent of the tweets during the match.

According to Twitter India, there were a total of 118.3 million live tweet impressions during the clash of the titans. The top three tweets per minute were when India became victorious by 76 runs (9,987 tweets per minute ). Two, when Virat Kohli scored a top notch century (7,159 tweets per minute) and when Kohli was dismissed by 107 runs (6,916 tweets per minute).

The report also states that the most mentioned players from India were Virat Kohli, M S Dhoni, and Suresh Raina. From Pakistan Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, and Sohail Khan made it to the list.

Facebook too has become an alternate stadium for the World Cup. Globally nine million people had 25 million interactions about India?s victory over Pakistan. One can join the conversation by posting about the match one is watching by tapping the smiley icon before one shares a post, select the option ?watching? and choose the specific match.

Through a ?Weekly Corner with Cricket Legends,? it has come up with a six part video Q&A series with some of the world?s leading cricketers. For this one will hav e to keep an eye on the ICC Cricket World Cup page each Monday to see interviews with Shane Warne, Yuvraj Singh, and more. Fans can also find in match highlights on the Star Sports? Facebook page.

The Facebook blog post can be accessed here: http://media.fb.com/2015/02/16/the-cricket-world-cup-on-facebook/ 

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