In the last year followers of the game across the world have had plenty to read about: England retained the Ashes in Australia, winning a series down under for the first time in a generation; India hosted and won one of the most successful 50-overs World Cups ever; Ireland starred in the same tournament and then were excluded from the next; Pakistan produced another brilliant young bowler, only for his career to be interrupted by one of several scandals that kept the international sports media busy with cricket all year; the American cricket board, USACA, gave cricketers in this country plenty to think about (as usual); there were star performances from players as diverse as Alastair Cook, Sachin Tendulkar, and Kevin O’Brien among many, many others. Indeed, a lot of things have happened in the big cricketing world; but the much smaller world of Michigan youth cricket seems to have interested people, too. The current MCA web site, hosted by WordPress.com, is now almost exactly a year old. On 20th May 2010 the first posts were made to the site; since then it has hosted eighty posts (including this one); and, as of 4 pm on 12 May 2011, the site had had 8,394 views, not including those generated by the author of this post.
In a period of 144 hours during the last week the web site was visited not only by readers from all the predictable places in Michigan (Canton, Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Saginaw, Holland, etc, etc), but also from Des Plaines, IL, Mountain View, CA, Atlanta, GA, Arlington, VA, New York, NY, and Napoleon, OH. In the same six-day period there were also visitors from abroad. International readers came from (in reverse chronological order of visits): two towns in Cheshire, England; Karachi; an unidentified location in Japan; Mumbai; Valodara, Gujarat; Taipei; Lahore; Brisbane; Utrecht; and Hyderabad. That’s eleven foreign locations and seven countries other than the USA in just six days. And since the end of that period the following can be added to the list of overseas locations detected this week by the Feedjit Live Traffic Feed recently added to the web site (see application to the right of this post): Antalya, Turkey; Mississauga, Canada; Buenos Aires; Bijapur, Karnataka; Delhi; Hoshiarpur, Punjab. Only a few days ago, the director of a cricket academy in Australia found the MCA web site and immediately contacted the Academy, inviting MCA players to spend a month or two in Queensland (at, it must be added, no small expense, although MCA has been offered discounts – if you are interested, please let MCA know). Traffic on the web site is generally modest, but steady, with numbers over a typical day in the season ranging from ten to fifty (the highest numbers coming on days when MCA emails are sent out).
Last week there were 114 views, and so far the average number of view per day for this month is 15. The web site’s busiest day ever was 20 July, 2010, with 280 page views, most of them generated by a single story. But this was a unique situation, and that huge spike in views is unlikely to be repeated. Notwithstanding the significant numbers of visitors from outside Michigan, it can be assumed that the majority of page views are from MCA members. On the other hand, it is clear from the nature of the searches bringing visitors daily to the web site that many non-members are looking for news which might, if information were more readily available, be found elsewhere: a lot of searches are for details of CER tournaments and teams, or for academies, clubs and cricketers beyond MCA. In other words, some of the traffic on the MCA web site suggests an information vacuum in other parts of the regional cricketing world. The most searched-for item is, not surprisingly, “Michigan Cricket Academy” (167 searches in twelve months), but many local and regional topics also bring readers in – “Michigan Cricket” was searched for 19 times; “MichCA Cricket” 13, “Michigan Cricket Association” 8, “U.S Corporate Cricket” 7. Searches mentioning “CER” were made a total of 43 times, with “CER Cricket”, “CER U-15”, and “CER Cricket Team” leading the way. The web site was also used to search for information about cricket clubs and grounds in the area (“University of Michigan Cricket”, “Motown C. C.”, “Hartland Cricket Ground”, etc), and beyond: “Florida” occurred in eleven search terms, with “Florida Cricket Academy” the most frequent of those searches (eight); however, there were no searches that included the word “California” (CCA has a very well-maintained web site).
Readers may be curious to learn not only what but also whom browsers searched for. It will surprise few that the most searched-for individual from MCA is Joint Head Coach, Shyam Mayasandra (fourteen total searches, placing coach Shyam in a three-way tie for most-searched for living person), followed by MCA Information Director, Michael Makin (13); Joint Head Coach Vasanth Krishnaswami was searched for 6 times, while MichCA Youth Coordinator Avinash Kommireddy was searched for a flattering 11 times. Among MCA players, the most popular to date are Kishan Patel (14 searches in some seven different categories), Rohit Mogalayapalli (12) and Anurag Yerabati (11); Shannu Satyavolu (4) and Gordon Makin (4) also enjoy a modicum of popularity, but were less searched for than non-MCA cricketers Anurag Tripathi (14), Tanmaya Sambare (7), Paarth Joshi (7), and Akhil Sridher (5). MCA guest player and Motown C. C. club captain Kashif Akhtar (13) joins MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra, MCA player Kishan Patel, and the University of Michigan captain Anurag Tripathi as the most searched-for living cricketers on the web site.
Lots of charming and/or eccentric searches have also brought viewers to the MCA web pages, among which the most engaging might be “I want to play cricket in Bloomer Park” (a single search). In other areas there has been less activity.
Only one person (the author of this post) is currently subscribed to receive email updates every time a new post is made, and the MCA Twitter account is barely more popular, although the hook-up with Facebook generates some interest (36 people “liked” the MCA posts last week). Most notable of all, however, is the fact that, notwithstanding regular invitations, no one other than MCA’s Information Director has written anything for the web site (and comments on posts are also very uncommon). Clearly, MCA members, with one obvious exception, do not harbor ambitions to challenge the legacy of Neville Cardus… As the Academy grows, it is hoped that the web site will provide more and more information and serve more and more diverse informational needs. And, as ever, MCA members are encouraged to let the Academy know both their opinions of the web site in general, and, especially, their suggestions for improvements.